Hello, world. It’s me, Olivia, reporting to you this time from the comfort of my bed, where I have been stuck for the past week with the flu and a 104-degree fever.
I’ve had to turn to a true guardian angel in this time of grave need — Grubhub.
Tuesday afternoon. Day two of fever. I had not left my bed — except to get tissues and use the restroom — after 19-ish hours. With nowhere left to turn, I decided to embark upon this Grubhub journey.
I spent 45 minutes scrolling through the app, decided I was craving pizza, spent another 45 minutes trying to find gluten-free-dairy-free pizza, pondered pasta, decided against it, and settled on food from The Red Fern.
This is one of my absolute favorite restaurants in Rochester — all their food is vegan, and most of it can be made gluten-free as well, so I knew they wouldn’t let me down.
I decided on two of my favorite dishes: the compost plate and the brownie. The compost plate is The Red Fern’s vegan, healthy, far superior version of a garbage plate. Their mac salad is the only one that I will eat.
It’s creamy, well-balanced, and the pasta’s always perfectly al dente. My protein choice was the lentil burger, which is also flavorful and all-around scrummy. The meatless meat hot sauce is bold and smooth. The side salad is fresh and has a rich, acidic balsamic dressing. The gluten-free toast is hearty and has a full-bodied texture that is difficult to achieve with gluten-free breads. My favorite element, the sweet potato salad, is creamy and silky-smooth with tiny bits of crunchy veggies mixed in.
The Red Fern’s half-baked gluten-free brownie was as delightful as ever. This brownie is chocolatey, fluffy, fudgy, and nicely salted. My small critique is it can verge on too sweet and crumbly, which is why I love to order it as a sundae with a scoop of ice cream when I’m at The Red Fern. The brownie is still great without it, though. I may have ordered a second later in the week.
Day three of fever. Olivia was still the name and Asian food for breakfast at 3 p.m. was the game. Also, the flu — that was also the game. I decided to try a new place, so I ordered the vegan spicy mango curry (with tofu) and the red bean buns from Flavors of Asia.
The curry was satisfying enough. It had a good flavor, I loved the fried tofu, and the mango was nice enough quality. I do wish the curry sauce had been thicker and less oily. A thicker curry may have better coated the vegetables. I also wish there had been more variety in the vegetables because I ended up with more red peppers than anything else. I did adore the red bean buns. They were sweet and totally dreamy, and I am highkey tempted to order some more for myself right now as I am reliving the experience.
On fever day four, I ordered more Red Fern. I had the entree special, which was a lentil and root veggie shepherd’s pie, and I also got an oatmeal ginger cookie and, it was all delicious and perfect.
By that night, I was starting to lose my mind. I’d had a 104-degree fever for four days straight so, at about 9 p.m., I had a full-blown delirious mental breakdown and called my ex, bawling, because there was a mouse in my kitchen and I didn’t like my episode of “Dance Moms.” He was a great sport about it — he just laughed at me the whole time. Respect.
Anyway, that night, I decided I should probably not get Red Fern a third time, so I ordered a customizable poke bowl from a place called Shaka.
Overall, I was pleased with it. The tuna was a bit dry and not quite the quality you want from sushi-grade raw tuna. But my brown rice was cooked perfectly — I liked the gluten-free, vegan thai peanut dressing, and I was happy with the millions of toppings I’d selected. This poke bowl did not make my delirious fever breakdown any worse, which was a big accomplishment at that fragile time.
So what have I learned this week? Being bedridden is definitely not as relaxing as it sounds. Lilliana is a better dancer than Brady (fight me) and is definitely the best dancer at the Abby Lee Dance Company on season 8 of Dance Moms. And mice in your home do not immediately present the threat of rabies — or so I was assured when I was crying about rabid kitchen mice and Abby Lee Miller’s Burkitt’s lymphoma over the phone. May the odds be ever in your favor this flu season.