First things first, it's Veterans' Day here in the United States. Have you thanked your veteran today?
In vaguely sad news, we're starting to hit that point where the leaves are mostly off the trees and this whole 'fall' thing starts turning into 'winter', also known as the season of "where did all the color go? COME BACK TO MEEEE."
So that's less exciting.
In news that is exciting, it is my niece Delainey's fifth birthday today! And it's only 42 days until I get to see her (and most of my family) again! My parents will be coming into town for Thanksgiving in a week and a few days, so I'll get to see them then!
Today, at least in the early afternoon, it was gorgeous outside so Jason and I ran downtown. We needed to hit up the Main Branch of the library anyway, so we figured we'd go early and just walk around enjoying the sunshine. This was a good plan, except that we hadn't eaten since breakfast. We sort of simultaneously realized we were hungry, and were trying to think of a place to eat.
I remembered reading in the newspaper something about a new place being just a little further into the West End than we normally go, and we found it!
It's called Tender Greens. (For locals, it's a little past Mellow Mushroom - maybe two doors down). It's a Greek-influenced soup, salad, and sandwiches place. For passerby, they have their menu posted in the window directly below the contents of the photo above, so you can see what you're in for. I'm always up for trying somewhere I've never been, so we decided to walk in.
For one thing, I love the decor. The tables are these big wooden slabs, really solid. Some of the original woodwork is still there, too, along with some really cool old wooden shelves that had sort of an array of Greek basic cooking supplies; olive oil, various and sundry preserved vegetables, that sort of thing.
I ordered some of their shrimp soup to start.
Look at that. It is creamy and delicious, almost a bisque, and they must throw the shrimp in at the very end like you're supposed to, because they basically fall apart in your mouth. It's super lemony and herb-y. Is good soup. Both soup came with lime on the side, but I just dunked my whole lime in.
They actually went ahead and gave Jason a bowl of their other soup on the house!
Lentil soup was the other soup today. It was the great deep, warm flavor you really expect from lentil soup, which makes me wonder why I don't buy more lentils because they don't just make soup, they make soup. I bet I could type soup several more times before I got tired of it.
Soup soup soup.
I was in a Greek place. It was required that I eat dolmas. The little side dish order of them came with four, but before we even remembered to take a photo we'd already started to split them... so we did the best we could. The dolmas were great; the rice was completely cooked, almost like a risotto inside, and they were very very lemony.
Turns out I like lemony dolmas.
Jason had a kind of beef sausage pita sandwich for lunch. It came with a Greek salad (read: red onions, olives, tomatoes, om nom nom) and potato chips on the side. I had a bite; the beef sausage was great. I wasn't super in the mood for meat (we'd made homemade Egg McMuffins for breakfast, so I kind of felt meat-ed out).
I was kinda feelin' salad-y.
This was the "Fresh Date Salad", mixed greens with feta cheese, fresh date pieces (that would be what your brain wants you to think is bacon up there), walnuts, and herbs. The dressing was a really nice, super simple olive-oil-and-vinegar. I was not expecting the sheer amount of salad I received on this plate. It even came with a warm pita, presumably to mop up the dressing left over at the end.
When the owner came over to ask if we wanted any dessert when we were done, we mostly just groaned our protest more than we said it. I kind of wish that I'd snagged some baklava to take home, though. Baklava made by hand is one of life's great treasures.
The prices were really reasonable. With one cup of soup (since they gave us the lentil soup on the house), an order of dolmas, a sandwich plate AND a salad, we came to less than 25 dollars, so with tip you've got a thirty-dollar dinner date right there.
The clouds were rolling in by the time we ran to the library and came back, and now it's starting to get chilly again.
I've even got my slippers on.
And since we ran out of hot chocolate I am seriously considering making more coffee.
I don't have to go to work tomorrow.
And this pumpkin spice coffee from Dunkin Donuts may actually be the secret treasure of El Dorado, because it is the best pre-ground coffee I have ever had.