Downtown Disney

It has been a busy two days. Tonight, after work, I headed downtown to see a play. After getting home, I quickly changed and headed out for a run. It wasn’t a great run, but it was something, and when I add up the time spent running with the brisk walking warm-up and cool-down, I was on the streets for 45 minutes. I was antsy to go on the run, because yesterday ended up being a rest day. I didn’t work out before going to the office (I’ve been failing all week at morning exercise), and after work, I had dinner with an old friend from high school that was in town for a convention. And by ‘in town’ I mean Anaheim, which is an hour away, so when you factor in drive time, that left no time for a workout.

I haven’t seen my friend Matt in 5 years. He’s a reporter that lives in D.C., and, back in high school, we did the plays and musicals together. Our senior year musical was “Into the Woods,” and he played Jack, and I played the Baker – we both had starring roles, bitches! You can read a little more about that experience on Matt’s blog, called “Still Waiting for the Runner’s High,” because, a year and a half ago, Matt wrote a blog post called “David Garcia is My New Hero.” I am not making that up – click here to read all about me.

Matt and I met in Downtown Disney, a shopping center right next to Disneyland, and near Matt’s hotel. I’ve only been to Downtown Disney once before, when I went to Disney California Adventure, and I didn’t do any research into what restaurants there have healthy options. We ended up at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, which serves New Orleans-style Cajun cuisine, and their healthy pickings were slim. More on that in a second.

The restaurant is a big, two-story affair that looks like it was plucked straight from the French Quarter. It was a little overdone for my taste. We got a table (after stealing someone else’s reservation… shhhh!) right near the stage, and there was a pianist playing tunes on a piano covered with mosaics made from Mardi Gras beads. Pardon my blurry picture:

The only thing I really loved, decor-wise, were the glass mosaic alligators that framed the mirror in the men’s room, but even those I wouldn’t need to see every single day:

The menu had a lot of fried offerings, heavy sauces and butter-based dishes. I ended up ordering a starter and a side, and it made for a nice meal, and probably was the healthiest thing I could have put together. First, the iceberg wedge (Applewood smoked bacon, fire roasted corn, cherry tomatoes, Maytag blue cheese dressing on the side, rosemary croutons):

That’s what an $8 iceberg lettuce salad looks like, folks!

I also had the side of Bacon Pecan Green Beans, which were super oily but really good. Or shall I say really good because they were super oily?

It’s not my place to share what Matt ordered… maybe he’ll post about it on his blog?

Despite the limiting food options, and the fact that we were sitting in a room that had dozens of opened parasols hanging from the ceiling, I had a really nice evening catching up with Matt. He’s in a really good place in his life right now – things have aligned nicely for him, and I couldn’t be happier. In regards to his health, he’s mindful of calories, and has embarked on a fantastic exercise program that has seen him ride over 600 miles on his bicycle.  What am I forgetting? Oh! A picture!  Here’s me and Matt:

Matt told me that my monthly Exercise Progress Reports inspired him to get a move on with his exercise, and that, in turn, inspires me to keep exercising. Which is why, after coming home from the play last night at 10:30pm, I still laced up my sneakers and went for that run.

See that, folks? This post has come full circle – much like the route of last night’s run!

Keep it up, David!


2 Responses to Downtown Disney

  1. Lucie says:

    Love, love, love “Into the Woods”–had to take a brief break while reading the blog to scamper over to Amazon to order a DVD. Gosh, David, this is the 2nd time this month you’ve cost me money–had to hit T.J. Maxx for a whole new wardrobe after loosing 81# following your blog!

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