spectating participant

October 14, 2005

creature comforts cuizine

Filed under: dining, food — suzanne henderson @ 10:38 am

I’ve been fading away on the [food] scale lately. It seems that nothing sounds good to my mind or stomach. In trying to come up with somewhere to go eat at, my mind draws a blank and thinks of the massive redundancy of our frequently visited restaurants and the varietal staleness of the menu items. Wednesday, I couldn’t think of anything to eat and we eventually ended up at [BJ Pumpernickles] which always offers a broad selection of foods. Alex was in a finicky mood and took longer than usual to select from the generic kids menu. I took twice as long as she did and finally resolved to order chocolate pie instead of bothering with anything real for dinner. I’d been eyeing the matzo ball soup and when Chris slyly mentioned this to our oh-so-accommodating-waiter, a cup appeared on the table for me to try. It was good but not what I wanted. Chris had a Greek wrap that was closed to my undefined craving, but still lacking. The pie was great, but also left me feeling a little disappointed in the entire subject of food and eating. And then, last night rolls around, and again I cannot come up with anything that I feel is worth shoving down my throat. Chris offers up all sorts of options, friendly trying to make a reasonable accommodation to my new found selective pallet, but nothing holds out. Finally, being defeated by my lack of direction, he opts for ordering pizza. Just as he is about to click the order button, I notice a menu we’d collected from our visit to [Roots] grocery store several months ago….

Ah-ha, something perked up inside and I eagerly read over the menu options. [Great Sage] (Spencerville, Maryland) was the name of the small eatery next door and the menu was filled with all sorts of vegetable goodness. A vegetarian establishment, they looked like they put real effort in the items they offered and they all sounded good. Suddenly, I was starving and couldn’t get out the door fast enough to try some of the items. And what a treat it was. We started with an appetizer of roasted vegetables with goat cheese and a drizzle of balsamic and a spiced pumpkin chai latte and a pumpkin smoothie. That was really the best; I could have eaten two of them, except I was quickly filling up before my main course was even close to being done. I got a vegan Shepard’s pie and while I hate for vegetarian food to be a meatless replica of something else, I still found it quite appealing. There were a few things about it that could have been better, but still wonderful overall. Chris got an Indian cakes dish with lentils and all sorts of curry goodness. Alex ended up with the mac and cheese from the kids menu which didn’t go over well. I think it was the whole wheat pasta and the use of real cheese that really did her in. Neon orange mac and cheese is rally the only kind she likes. Oh, I was so happy over the food. Of course, that was hampered a little by the $60+ bill that came with it. Ouch, wasn’t expecting that. But then we did get specialty drinks that are always overpriced and essentially two appetizers (Chris also got a side salad). So, all in all, it was still what my palette needed.

I went to be thinking of all the wonderful things I can start cooking again and looking forward to the shopping trip today and the dinner that will result from it. Sometimes, I guess you just need a little extra kick to get the tastes going again. And now that it is fall, this is a perfect time to settle into those wonderfully rich dishes that you just want to snuggle into a warm sweater and devour.