an mcu journey: latin flavors & a new hero

as we gathered for marvel night last week, i realized we had started this journey one year ago. i do not know which stuns me more: that another year has passed or that we are now just two movies away from the end of the infinity saga! both are pretty unbelievable, and it’s incredible what you can accomplish in 12 months’ time. i mean, i promise i did more in 2021 than just watch a bunch of superhero movies, but even that is time well spent!

we all were glowing with that new year energy and excitedly gathered around the table for cuban. i was pretty unsure what i was in the mood for, but trusty yelp suggested sandwiches and then directed us to tortugas cuban grill. jenn and i both went for the media noche, and i scarfed that thing down with minimal hesitation and even less manners. i mean, i’m not sure i was taking a breath between bites, only pausing to declare how delicious my dinner was. it had the right amount of zippy mustard with crunchy, briny pickles, all atop perfectly soft, fresh sweet cuban bread. i usually have leftovers during marvel night but left nothing in my box this time. even phillip was jealous of my meal, and that hardly ever happens! that’s not to say his pan con bistec sandwich wasn’t good, too, but this media noche really was a step above.

i also ordered a side of tostones for the group and will say it was a huge serving for only $4.25. the tostones were big (there were about 12 of them), and that green dressing/sauce that came on the side was heavenly. i only wish there had been more of that to go around!

dave was craving something a little more substantial and tried the pescado a la tortuga. to be honest, i’m still not sure how he felt about it, lol. the fish portion was generous, and there were lots of shrimp hiding in the secret sauce, but it seems it was a little underwhelming. perhaps it needed more flavor? perhaps it would be better in the restaurant? we may never know. all i will say is that if you said, “hey, kelsey, let’s meet at tortugas,” i’d be in the car before even replying to your message.

after washing up and refilling our drinks, we settled into our regular spots, this time to watch captain marvel. before i get into the details, i’ll say i thought this movie was fine and hope that marvel is going to play a key role in endgame, otherwise, what was the point? even before we clicked play, it confused me that they would introduce a new character so late in the game. but hey, what do i know?

well, for starters i know what i liked about this film, which includes…

  • all the 90s references
  • learning more about nick fury
  • getting to see agent coulson again (if you don’t love agent coulson, i’m uncertain if we can be friends)
  • goose the cat
  • the soundtrack (i’m always happy when no doubt comes on)

and there are the things i didn’t so much care for, like…

  • the fact that it took me a while to unravel exactly what was going on and who was really who (that may be more on me, but perhaps it is due to confusing storytelling)
  • all of the unclear flashbacks with lawson
  • that they found lawson’s space lab so quickly
  • how fury loses his eye (really, they couldn’t think of anything else?)

all feelings aside, though, we are somehow just about done! will i be emotional when we watch endgame next week? will our next meal dethrone tortugas? will i wonder what to do with myself now that we are done? how will 2022 possibly live up to all i saw in 2021? we are only one 3-hour movie away from finding out, and i am excited to see how things end.

EATS

  1. tortugas
  2. trader joe’s
  3. sweet octopus
  4. alessio’s
  5. gordo’s pizza
  6. alebrije mexican restaurant
  7. jim’n’nick’s
  8. burger 21
  9. masterpiece
  10. jerusalem bakery
  11. armando’s caribe
  12. honeypig
  13. sonny’s bbq
  14. cue barbecue
  15. lon u
  16. rose and olive
  17. wayback burger
  18. 2 nyers pizza
  19. tokyo shokudo

MOVIES

  1. iron man
  2. avengers: infinity war
  3. ant-man
  4. spider-man: homecoming
  5. guardians of the galaxy
  6. captain america: the first avenger
  7. black panther
  8. thor: ragnarok
  9. thor: the dark world
  10. captain marvel
  11. captain america: civil war
  12. guardians of the galaxy vol. 2
  13. thor
  14. avengers: age of ultron
  15. captain america: the winter soldier
  16. doctor strange
  17. iron man 3
  18. the avengers
  19. iron man 2

an mcu journey: an al dente dinner with modern vibes

the delicious eats and fun flicks are still a-comin’, and although i feel like we still have a good chunk to get through, we’ve come so far! you know what’s up. we’ve had the good, the bad, the better, the worse, and if i had to describe everything for this week of adventure, i’d say everything was solidly solid. wait, is it grammatically acceptable to use an adjective to describe itself? sure, why not!

first up is dinner, and one food group we had not yet enjoyed together for marvel night was italian. i mean, we’ve had pizza, but i’m talking pastas and marinaras and garlicky goodness.

phillip and i were super ready to recommend we order dinner from nearby alessio’s. we had tried them for his birthday dinner last year via delivery during the pandemic, and they just might be one of my favorite italian places in town. if i were force fed the tortellii cardinal every day for a week, i would gladly welcome the challenge. phillip tried the ravioli, which i admit was divine. dave and jenn both had parmigiana, dave the veal and jenn the chicken. dave had never had veal before and commented that the texture seemed a little off. could it be because it was delivered? would it be better fresh out of the oven, tableside? is it possible that veal simply is not for him? i guess we’ll just need to eat at the restaurant soon to settle it!

so, dinner was a hit, as far as my dish was concerned. can we say the same for the movie? well, i don’t know that i’d give black panther the highest marks, but it definitely is not at the back of the pack. i feel like it was quite a hit when it first released in 2018, and i’ll admit i was looking forward to seeing it for myself. and now thinking back on it, i first was a huge fan of the fact that this movie takes place in a completely different setting from all the other movies i have seen so far. although most of the scenery is probably computer-generated, it was a nice change. i also appreciate that the start of the movie is very straightforward and explains the history of wakanda; it was helpful to get some direct insight right upfront!

from the vibranium thieves to n’jadaka’s thirst for revenge, i liked the multi-layered conflict throughout the film. the soundtrack was pretty awesome, too, and i was especially glad that at the end t’challa chose to open an outreach center. i really don’t know that there was a better way to conclude the movie.

you know, as i sit here thinking and writing about the restaurant and the movie, i think they both get higher ratings that i originally planned. it’s anybody’s game at this point!

EATS

  1. sweet octopus
  2. alessio’s
  3. gordo’s pizza
  4. alebrije mexican restaurant
  5. jim’n’nick’s
  6. burger 21
  7. jerusalem bakery
  8. armando’s caribe
  9. honeypig
  10. cue barbecue
  11. lon u
  12. rose and olive
  13. wayback burger
  14. 2 nyers pizza
  15. tokyo shokudo

MOVIES

  1. iron man
  2. ant-man
  3. spider-man: homecoming
  4. guardians of the galaxy
  5. captain america: the first avenger
  6. black panther
  7. thor: the dark world
  8. captain america: civil war
  9. thor
  10. avengers: age of ultron
  11. captain america: the winter soldier
  12. doctor strange
  13. iron man 3
  14. the avengers
  15. iron man 2

an mcu journey: slurpy ramen & teenage thrills

i’ll come and say it outright: last sunday we had a big ‘ole time with marvel night. the food? a+. the movie? an a+, too! i think this week was just plain fun, which is why i’m excited to tell you all about it.

first, the food. although it was still a 90 degree day in summery georgia, i had a sudden hankering for a big bowl of ramen. there were no objections, so we ordered delivery from a local spot in downtown duluth called sweet octopus. it was a new spot for all four of us (a rarity!), and i’ll tell you all now we were highly impressed. i was secretly jealous of the super poke bowl dave ordered. it looked fresh, salty, and savory all at the same time. i’m only sorry i did not get a picture for you!

we had an order of dumplings for the table, which i feel like are a must with a dinner like this one. jenn’s panko chicken teriyaki chili peanut poke bowl (yes, that is what it is called!) looked like a great choice, and the bite of phillip’s thai fried rice i had was completely satisfying. but what about the ramen, kelsey! well, folks, i ate the. entire. bowl. i had the village classic original ramen and loved every bite of rich broth. the crunchy corn, the sprouts, the soft-boiled egg. i nearly could not get enough! this may be one of the first restaurants we’ve ordered from where i look very forward to going to the restaurant and trying more. sweet octopus, we’ll be coming for you!

so, with such a glowing dinner review, i know you’re just dying to know which movie we saw and what we thought. well, what i thought. 🙂 it was time for spider-man! yes, we watched spider-man: homecoming, and i think i was smiling throughout the entire film. i think i liked this movie so much because it is really its own vibe. younger cast, totally different setting, adolescent fun and dread, what’s not to enjoy? tom holland is 100% precious as peter parker, his sidekick ned is perfectly likeable, and the storyline is not nearly as over the top as some of the other marvel films. can i get a hallelujah? peter’s out there, just trying to help the little guy, and is charming and adorable the whole way through. although the rescue scene in washington, dc felt a little extra, the movie and spider-man redeem themselves with their wholesome message and do-good attitude. i’ll be honest, i cannot wait to see the next movies in the spider-man saga. just gotta get through all these others first!

EATS

  1. sweet octopus
  2. gordo’s pizza
  3. alebrije mexican restaurant
  4. jim’n’nick’s
  5. burger 21
  6. jerusalem bakery
  7. armando’s caribe
  8. cue barbecue
  9. lon u
  10. rose and olive
  11. wayback burger
  12. 2 nyers pizza
  13. tokyo shokudo

MOVIES

  1. iron man
  2. ant-man
  3. spider-man: homecoming
  4. guardians of the galaxy
  5. captain america: the first avenger
  6. thor: the dark world
  7. captain america: civil war
  8. thor
  9. avengers: age of ultron
  10. captain america: the winter soldier
  11. iron man 3
  12. the avengers
  13. iron man 2