What do you do on a Saturday morning?  I’d like to say that I lounge around eating and doing blog-world stuff, relaxing and enjoying the sunshine…

Okay, I don’t have it bad.  But last Saturday was pretty bad.  Not only did I not wake up to brilliant fall sunshine and chirping birds and a warm bowl of oatmeal, but it was just like the school week—opening my eyes and wondering why it doesn’t seem like I’ve opened them at all.  Good morning… 5:30 AM!

Why 5:30 AM?  Because I had a brain-a-thon from 8:00 AM until 12:30 PM, which required me to wake up at 5:30 AM… and oh. my. Lord.  x_x  Who dares to say that sitting on your butt doesn’t take effort?!  I was exhausted from head to toe—parts of my body that hadn’t even budged for the past seven hours were tired!  And don’t even get me started on my hands and feet.  Twirling pencils and swinging feet is totally sweat-inducing stuff… phew.

… Uh, yes, I was testing for four and a half hours.  Yes, I woke up at 5:30 AM on a Saturday morning to take a test for four and a half hours.  Yes, I am a nerd. o-o  That’s a topic I could go on and on about, but that’s a ramble I’ll save for another day… Because like any other athlete, a nerd gets hungry too, yes?

Well, I was positively starving by the end of this test.  Seven hours awake and four and a half hours on my butt equated to six hours (!!) without food.  Six hours?  No food?  That’s just bait for cranky Candice. :(  I think my brain cells were so malnourished at the end of the test that they were eating themselves.  Pity the poor souls who had to listen to me spout incoherent (cranky) nonsense before I got something into my tummy!  To hold back the demons, I pleaded with a fellow nerd to please oh please give me some of your cracker I’ll love you forever just please… SHARING IS CARING!

“. . .”

Yeah, I demolished her with that line.  :P

I’m aware that lack of food + a few hours = hungry, but I like to say that I got hungry because I got the “brain munchies.”  ;)  i.e., stomach is empty, brain is shriveled, brain robbed stomach.  I suppose there’s a different cure for this for everyone, so I ask: How do you cure your brain munchies?

My cure was a lunch at Fire Works Pizza, a small establishment neighboring Tuscarora Mill serving (some? most?) local fare, and not just pizza, either.  It totally sounded like my kind of place.  Ironically, pizza doesn’t show up anywhere in this post…

To start off, we ordered a Fire Works salad to split three ways—but I ended up eating most of it ;)  If I can remember correctly, this had mozzarella, parmesan, cherry tomatoes, roast chicken, pepperoni, salami, and proscuitto on a bed of greens.  My opinion?  Well, I did say that I ended up eating most of it… and just look at that mozzarella <3  Maybe my short-term memory is failing me, and it wasn’t mozzarella?!… It was so fresh and creamy—kind of like feta cheese texture + mozzarella flavor.  Love.  The saltiness of the cured meats added a delightful savoriness, of course.  You just can’t go wrong with salty meat and creamy cheese.  :)

And, going against the name of the restaurant (and this post), I ordered a non-pizza item for my main course, the wood roasted vegetables with vidalias over creamy polenta.

Errrr… what?

Unfortunately, these vegetables, which included eggplant, vidalia onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes, were not very roasted at all.  In fact, the bottom half of the bowl was filled with an oil-sauce soup—it honestly seemed more like a sautée if anything, and not a very delicious one, either.  If I had a say in the names of the dishes, I would rename this one drowning in oil vegetables with explain what this means over ball of mashed corn. Mmmmm.

By the way, what does “over” mean again?  I may be blind, but I can see that the polenta ball is clearly over the vegetables, not the other way around?

Fire Works Pizza, you lied about a completely useless characteristic. :(  Regardless of what was over what, this dish was bad.

This failure of a dish is the reason why I ended up finishing off the salad, which was ten times tastier.  I couldn’t eat more than a couple bites of the vegetables in this—they were so strangely mushy and saturated with oil. When I think “roasted,” I imagine crisp, charred edges and deep, toasty flavors… and I was sorely disappointed.  The super-tart, squishy tomatoes added a uniquely unpleasant flavor to the whole mess, and the rest of the veggies all tasted the same.  No individuality, boo.  :(

On the other hand, the polenta was pretty good—buttery and rich—but it wasn’t very creamy.  If something is creamy, shouldn’t it be able to melt in my mouth and give me a mouthgasm?  Well, not this ball o’ butter.  Oh Fire Works Pizza, why can’t you just make things mushy when they need to be?  Why torture my poor “roasted” veggies???  :/

At least it looks yummy…

What was your most disappointing restaurant experience? I’d have to say the ones that made me throw up: Macaroni Grill (some cheesy pasta) and Ruby Tuesday’s (crab cake).  ><  I won’t let this one bad dish ruin my enthusiasm to return, though!!  There’s still lots of tasty-sounding fare on their menu :)

Ohhh… and I have to ask…

Are YOU a nerd? o-o  Come on, don’t be shy!