I just need some leaves in my life, y’all

So we all know that I consumed more food than science ever thought was humanly possible this last weekend. I felt seriously gross for it. On Monday afternoon, the text from a dear friend came in: “Dinner tonight?”

Now, you’re right – I could have laughed in her textual face and left it. But there’s nothing I won’t do for my friends, and that includes eating out with them. That’s how good a friend I am. We volleyed back and forth for a bit: Silk Road, Bennachin, 1000 Figs which are all excellent options, though it was a Monday in New Orleans so also nothing is open. Then we thought of it: Max Well.

I had been before and have the Instagram posts to prove it. Because if it’s not on Instagram, it’s not real life (IRL, am I right?!). But she had never been and I needed to eat something natural that like, nature had made and not a fryer.

Max Well has predesigned bowls, or designer bowls if you will. And I can definitely recommend the NOLA Bowl and the Banh Mi Bowls. But I wanted to go rogue so I made my own. Started with the California base (because beets and avocados are high up on my yum list), got the almond basil dressing, and green lentils for proteins. DAMN. Yes. I ate it all which is good because my body was like, “mmmmm, nutrients.” So I think my next career move will be a professional salad designer. Please message me for my CV if you are in need of an expert.

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This is my creation. You can hire me for all your salad events.

Said dear friend then purchased us this teeny tiny raw brownie in a tiny plastic container (think: a birthday cake for Barbie) because she is nice and wants to fatten me up for the winter. It wasn’t terribly chocolate-y, rather it wasn’t chocolate-y at all which is why I liked it. For your reference, I do not like most chocolate things. Do not bring me chocolate; I will throw it at you and trip you on your way out. It also had nuts and a caramel and it was melty and delicious and bite-sized. And bonus: we forgot to eat it so she just handed it to me on our way out and I totally won at life in that moment.

Also winning: she bought me dinner because in her head she owed me dollars. Which I don’t think is true. But I never look a salad horse in the mouth, know what I mean? I didn’t confirm with her but I think her Banh Mi Bowl + my yumminess above + brownie bite was something like $25 which isn’t too shabs for massive portions of tasty good-for-you goodness.

And for your FYI (pronounced fff-whyyy), Max Well is hosting an insanely tempting four-course menu on October 12 and 13th for $21. So make your reservations already (although not for the 13th because that’s my birthday party and I’ll be upset if, based on my recommendation, you don’t give me attention so you can shove good eats into your face).

Then this morning the only way I was getting out of my bed with its new foam topper and into some clothings was the promise of a pumpkin spice latte (*miracle noise* the PSL).

To HiVolt! I adore HiVolt which I accidentally stumbled upon with another beloved friend when I was visiting New Orleans for my 30th (or, as these days are known in our household: BNO for Before New Orleans if that wasn’t obvious). Their glass (or plastic, I dunno) cases are replete with the splendour of vegan donuts and muffins and bars. (And, novel concept, they are marked as such!) Their PSLs are dayumn good because their vegan syrup is made in-house and it’s delicious and it’s one of the first ones available in New Orleans from what I have found.

(Watch this space because I’ve just had the best idea which involves me buying every PSL I can find everywhere and then taking pictures with them and writing about them. So basically what I would have done without this blog but with the writing thing.)

Picture it: I confidently order my PSL with almond milk to go, buoyed up with the imagined smell of pumpkin spice filling my head. NOT.YET.AVAILABLE. Biting my tongue to keep from screaming in the cashier’s face, “IT’S BLOODY SEPTEMBER 25TH HOW DARE YOU NOT MAKE THIS STAPLE ITEM AVAILABLE!!” I ordered a regular almond milk latte instead and kept my sh*t together like a mid-30s year old would. Suddenly deflated and without the will to live, I threw in an impulse Mean Green salad. (I wonder if anymore I’m just throwing my money at people and food down my throat so that I can write this blog… Maybe I should consider this moving forward. No, I don’t have time for that.)

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I seriously went through my picture archives to show you this. It’s a HiVolt PSL from 2017 and I remember this day so vividly. I had so much to live for.

The man making my coffee, whom I also refer to as my Morning Savior, made some comment about how he’s been thinking of the Mean Green salad and how he hasn’t had one in so long and how yesterday he wanted one, but they didn’t have a lot of the broccoli salad available. I wasn’t about to let him take this moment away from me too – I mean, I’d already been torn away from my pumpkin coffee, what more did these people want from me – so I said, “haha, yea, you should totally get one after I am served mine.” I think I made my point very well.

Anyway… the salad: chunks of fresh apple, pistachios, golden raisins, leaves, and broccoli salad that has a hint of spice & creaminess to it topped with a balsamic dressing-type-stuff. IT’S SO GOOD. Seriously, honestly, very truly this is good. I made a work phone call and was still shoving forkfuls of this into my mouth as I prayed that no one answered. Yes, I am an adult with willpower – thanks for asking.

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Mean Green mugging.

When HiVolt does finally release their 2018 PSLs, go – I’ll see you there. While I’m not a big donut fan, I do like theirs from time to time when I need a sweet fix. But, I really recommend their carrot cake muffin and their bars (there’s a walnut dream something-or-other one which is actually dreamy).

And remember: we all need more leaves in our lives.

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