It’s Italian, of course. Pasta you pick, then you pick the sauce. They have pizza, more on that later. I feel like Rachel Ray and the Food Channel. It’s pretty inexpensive and actually tastes pretty good. I got the carbonara sauce. There are also baked pasta dishes. I couldn’t get lasagna one evening and they steered me to the baked pasta which was a good find.
Well, I’m not Japanese. And I’m not a fan of Sushi. There are few Chinese options. So Teriyaki beef makes the grade. It’s salty (very) sweet, crisp and hot. I did in fact have the tempura shrimp. The shrimp are really fresh and good. But the batter, though perfectly crisp, is too oily to be able to finish the whole dish. This has been my go to meal until I couldn’t bear to go to the mall any longer. Soda is included and the guys know me on sight and always smile.
My first try at custom blending, I asked for lemon, pineapple, and banana. At least the color was ok. The taste was a little too tart. There are no signs. But I found that I was sitting in the family, ladies section. Ahhh, the rules, you never know when you’re breaking one. So I just look like I don’t know what I’m doing and everything works out.
My main problem was translation. The guys here did not speak English. I wanted lamb. I ended up pointing at a dish that left the counter and they made that for me. It was so hot (temperature) that it didn’t matter what the meat was. But I think it was chicken. The metal bowl is heated hot and holds the temperature. The flat bread is seeded and layered. It’s way large and probably meant to be shared.
Here’s one more comment on the only Indian restaurant in my repertoire so far. Instead of bread it’s papadum served. They are addicting and definitely so bad for you. Those aren’t spring rolls because they’re cheese filled. It is a fact that most cultures have something you would call a dumpling. And egg rolls, spring rolls, samosa etc are all common variations.
Real French bakery and restaurant, the baking is quite good. I finally tried it. The croque monsieur was even good. (By the way, it’s not ham.) Unfortunately, on the second try it was cold and uncooked. Still it was a good meal. I had the lime with mint. It’s lime juice and crushed ice, a bit oversweet but very good. The éclair was excellent and I forgot to take a picture until I was halfway through eating the darn thing.
Farid took me here one evening. They make juice smoothies of just about any fruit combination you can imagine. As my kids would say, this is just my kind of place. They bind their fruit in a unique way. I wonder if they rotate the stock. When you blend and mash up multiple fruits it’s very thick and begins to all taste the same. I used to mash up all the play clay during my childhood and the color always ended up a dull brown. Get it? Oh, and if you wonder, the fruit is really pretty inexpensive here in the markets.
Kudu is a fast food chain I haven’t had a desire to try yet. I keep thinking the name reminds me of some sort of small African animal. Chicken ‘parm’ did you guess? Actually it’s got a pretty good red sauce to go with it. Jack says he ate in Maggiano’s in Denver. I ate there also on a different day. It ain’t the same. And Burger King, Vertigo, Steak and Pain, I want to say they have great neon signs. I’m puzzled by the ‘Pain.’ Would that be the patron or the cow? Burger King was one of the last fast foods that I broke down and ate. I do like the charbroiled burgers, but it was a lot of months to getting around to having one. They serve mozzarella sticks, cheapest around when I need a fix.
The only reason I wandered into this joint is because I was too tired to try Friday’s across the street. And besides I wanted to see how it stacked up against the USA version. Except for the prayer rugs, prayer space, and some traditional Middle Eastern decorations, it’s a Tuesday’s like any other. Oh, the salad bar’s different and there are no buffalo burgers. I got some mozzarella sticks, same as home and just as not good for you. Some old habits are hard to break.
I wandered a little. It was Ramadan. When the sun sets and the fast is broken there is a run on the restaurants as everyone rushes to fill their empty stomachs. Most places have a ‘special menu’ to attract customers. From the mess (think aftermath of drunken beer party) that I’ve seen, I think the crowd would probably eat cardboard if you served it. So I got to shoot some neon signs. There’s some promise in the color but here’s what I can say. Moodz, it’s not a restaurant or disco. What they sell, I can’t say. Uptown, looks very promising. But appearances are deceiving and the menu is a sandwich menu of little excitement. I won’t go out of my way for this. Brassa is a traditional Brazilian churriscarria. You need to go with an appetite and a desire to eat a lot of meat. The have ostrich and a few other exotic menu items. It’s Middle East meets South America. More on this later, since I have now been there twice. Applebee’s just like home but it was so crowded and dirty during Ramadan, that I would be very hard pressed to think about going there. There are other choices. The space dome is probably a bar or restaurant but I just didn’t have the heart to try to cross the road. It was too many lanes and too dangerous to cross over. The Manhattan Fish Market has a great sign and looked promising even though I’m not big on seafood. It is more of a traditional Muslim restaurant and has nothing in common with its name. I won’t be trying it.