Friday, April 23, 2010

muesli and mezze

Fabulous new oats mix this morning!


Last night:
1/2 of another strawberry-banana Yo Plus (I made another bowl for my mom, so we split it)
1 T cranberry-ginger Chia Goodness (it’s growing on me! This one has dried cranberries, ginger, pepitas- delicious things! I dig!)
1/3 c. oats
1 T water
1/4 large apple, chopped

1 T oats (it just looked too scrawny!)
2 T milk (it just looked too dry!)
1 T walnuts
1 gorgey strawberry :D


Beyond delish.

Lunch was a real treat- I had plans to do serious damage at the Gap outlet in Old Town Alexandria (one of my favorite neighborhoods- a fun mix of cute boutiques, yummy restaurants, riverside strolls, and Places George Washington Was) and my aunt Dena lives quite close to Old Town so I suggested a joint shopping trip and perhaps coffee or lunch.

We had a lovely ramble around and ended up picking a new (to us) place for lunch: Layla's Lebanese Restaurant. I wonder if the name is from Leila and Majnoun, one of the poems in The Conference of the Birds, which was definitely one of my favorite things I read in college. I know the Eric Clapton song of the same name (another of my great loves) is!

Dena was a good sport and let me take my blog pictures (fortunately she likes the blog!) I was apprehensive when I saw only a few people eating there, but it was great so now I’m trying to give them mad good publicity!

The inside is totally cute:


We sat by the window, and looked at the trees and people and cars going by. Well, the trees stayed still. I took this picture after the two gentlemen sitting next to us, who based on their conversation were raaaaaging alcoholics, blessedly left.


Fortunately my whole family is of the “sharing is fun!” mindset (plus we all just have a hard time deciding which thing sounds most delicious) so we decided to split a bunch of mezze. EXCELLENT choice. We got the special appetizer platter:


Clockwise from the top right, there was tabbouleh, falafel (sooooooo goooooood- it reminded me that my little experiments with lentils and whatnot might taste good but are nothing in comparison to the real deep-fried crispy deal), falafel sauce, hummus, baba ghanoush (why is the Lebanese version of baba ghanoush SO INSANELY DELICIOUS? Isn’t it just more awesomely smoky?! I want to recreate it! Any ideas?), spinach pies, and stuffed grape leaves (I cannot eat the stuff from the can but man oh man the real deal is so unbelievably good).

We also got something I’ve never had before but was amazing- makdous, which is stuffed pickled baby eggplants.


They said they were stuffed with walnuts, garlic, and olive oil but based on my little dissection there appeared to also be olives and red pepper.


Anyway, they were awesome.

Pita bread, of course:


Not homemade, unforch, but still good.

It was a really really delicious meal and the perfect amount of food for two. I recommend!

We concluded with “Lebanese coffee”- so silly, they call it Lebanese, we call it Greek, the Turks call it Turkish: it’s all the same coffee! Thin grounds, a little sweet, wicked caffeinated. How I love it.



Jess said...

Your lunch looks super lovely! I LOVE what you ordered--totally up my alley. I'm obsessed with tabbouleh and grape leaves (the GOOD ones)!!
<3 jess

Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen said...

I want that lunch right now!

(I also love to do damage at the Gap Outlet in Old Town when I am back in the area...)

Heather said...

Oats look so yummy! Yes, those chia seeds are so popular on blogs... I hope to learn from your experiences with them before I try.

Love your blog! Thanks for your comments. I'll be back!

Chef Aimee said...

Being Armenian, I was bred on mezze - what a fantastic lunch!