I haven’t cooked much lately, but I do have a trio of restaurant meals to share with you.
About a week and a half ago, Nick and I ate at Johnny Carino’s. Much to my chagrin, they claimed they didn’t have whole wheat pasta (the other location I’ve eaten at did!). Since I see no point in getting nutrition-less white pasta with marinara when eating out, I opted instead for something I liked the sound of but wouldn’t normally get. I forget what this one was called, but it’s angel hair pasta with artichokes, black olives, capers, chopped tomato, and basil, coated with garlicky olive oil. The only modification I had to request was for them to hold the parmesan cheese.
It was alright. There were too many capers, in my opinion, and the white pasta (as tends to be the case) just tasted bland to me. Oh well.
Here’s something much yummier. On Saturday, my friends and I ate at one of our two favorite Middle Eastern restaurants, Holy Land Café. I ordered my usual delicious dinner. I always start out with their lentil soup, which is unbelievable. The spices are exquisite, and the pureed lentils make the texture downright velvety. I always try to savor it, but end up slurping it all up in about two minutes.
For my entrée, I actually just get two appetizers. On the left are four baby falafel. (I don’t eat that tahini sauce in the middle.) On the right, their ethereal hummus. Just look at how creamy that is! Topped with a dollop of chile sauce and a drizzle of olive oil, it is utter perfection. And to accompany, a huge basket of their especially pillowy pita bread. It doesn’t get any better.
I am happy to say that Emily ate vegetarian as well. She ordered the mixed vegetable platter, which is a medley of sauteed peppers, zucchini, squash, and mushrooms, paired with a pile of their awesomely seasoned rice, and a side of pita bread. Just ignore that nasty tzatziki sauce.
On Sunday, Nick and I ate at Zio’s (again). I just didn’t feel like my standby whole wheat penne with spicy marinara, so I sprung for something new. I ordered the Thai chicken pasta, minus the chicken, of course. I asked for the whole wheat penne, and traded the bean sprouts and scallions for broccoli. It was coated in a VERY peanut-buttery satay sauce, and topped with crushed peanuts.
Not bad. I would have liked to see some shredded carrots on there, and I’d have preferred the sauce a little thinner. But when paired with Zio’s delectable bread and olive oil, I can’t complain.