Food, Glorious Food

In addition to being the opening song for the musical Oliver!, Food Glorious Food is also the name of a restaurant in Tallahassee.  I actually never knew it was a song until my sister visited in September and started singing it on the way to lunch.  Now that I know, I feel kind of guilty going there.  But it remains my second favorite restaurant in town, the first being Kool Beanz. 

Both these restaurants qualify as somewhat frou-frou, but they aren’t terribly expensive (FGF being more so than Kool Beanz).  I am kind of a frou-frou eater.  (Not counting the part where I will sell my soul for a fried green tomato.) I think that comes to some extent from when I was ill 4 1/2 years ago, and I would have to force myself to eat.  It was like a job:  I would cruise the aisles of Publix at lunch time, waiting for something to spark just a tad of desire.  Some days it was an avocado.  Some days it was Honey Nut Cheerios.  No rhyme or reason to it. 

This morning I woke up craving the quiche I had in Atlanta at Gourmandises, a little pastry shop/lunch restaurant hidden at the end of a strip mall.  (Okay, it’s Atlanta.  What ISN’T in a strip mall?)  The quiche was goat cheese, tomato, and…something else I forgot, but you don’t get more frou-frou than goat cheese.  I’ve been really into quiche since then and last Tuesday went to Chez Pierre here and had their Quiche Lorraine, which was an act of desperation.  They put HAM in it.  Yech.  Dear Pierre:  Lorraine is BACON.  Bacon, bacon, bacon…like the Beggin’ Strips ad for dog treats says. 

On both Wednesday and Thursday, I went to Kool Beanz, which was rather unusual, but as I was leaving on Wednesday, the guy seated next to me at the counter ordered the soup, which was butternut squash and apple, and it looked so incredible I had to go back on the off chance they would have it again.  No such luck.  I had to settle for Bahamian clam chowder instead, but it was fabulous anyway.  Then I had grilled salmon with olive tapenade (what the hell is a tapenade anyway?), white beans, and sauteed chard.  Kool Beanz is really into sauteed chard, which they saute with enough minced garlic to make you forget that sauteed chard looks like regurgitated kudzu.  I’ve developed a liking for it 🙂  For dessert I had Sweet Corn Creme Brulee…now there was a creative recipe.  It was topped with blackberry compote.  And just what the hell is a compote, anyway? 

Besides having a craving for the goat cheese quiche, my Long Distance Book Club caused me this morning to crave Mediterranean/Middle Eastern food.  Our book this month was “Blood Brothers”, by Elias Chacour and David Hazard…Hazard basically being the ghostwriter.  Chacour is a Palestinian.  The book club meets monthly and when the hostess is feeling up to the task, the food matches the book or the locale of the book.  So they had stuffed grape leaves, olives, hummus, etc.  And THAT made me think of baklava!  I was suddenly dying for baklava. 

I have an employee who is Palestinian, and when I’m lucky, his wife sends little treats to me after their big feast days.  One year his mother was visiting from Jordan and I got homemade baklava, with only pistachios as the nuts.  Before that, I thought of baklava as a Greek dessert, but that isn’t true.

I’ve always thought of myself as adventurous when it comes to food.  That’s one of the illusions about myself I’ve had to give up.  I haven’t nearly taken advantage of all the wonderful food of other cultures that I could have.  I have to be introduced to it.  But I will say this…if more of us ate together, World Peace would be advanced. 

In closing, have some baklava…possibly invented by the Turks…

Baklava

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4 responses to “Food, Glorious Food

  1. I’ve never seen quiche Lorraine with any meat other than ham. Not to mention that the cheese is always Swiss.

    Our quiche was goat cheese, tomato, and basil.

    Have I not made our version of quiche for you here? Country ham, parmesan, and parsley.

  2. > crave Mediterranean/Middle Eastern food.
    There’s a Middle Eastern restaurant on Tharpe, a bit west of Monticello. Been meaning to check it out for a few weeks but haven’t had time.

    > Sweet Corn Creme Brulee
    A culinary outrage! Brulee is a rip off of flan.

    Have you had rugalach? An excellent Jewish pastry that’s to die for. Public has it now and then but their version doesn’t touch my father’s mother’s version. Very labor intensive though…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rugelach

  3. Once, years ago, in my government office we had a covered dish Thanksgiving luncheon. I very much encouraged these functions in a diverse office. One of my employees was Greek, her mother was barely conversant in English and was a wonderful cook . She brought in some homemade Baklava, it was indescribably delicious. Baklava is quite popular in Tarpon Springs in the heavily Greek community.

    I would disagree that Creme Brulee is a ripoff of Flan. They are both good custard based desserts but Creme Brulee, caramalized at table side, is far superior because of the splendid complexity of blended tastes, temperature and texture. I am afraid I would not venture to try corn, it just should be renamed. Perhaps corn custard would be more appropriate.

    Homemade Rugelach is also quite tasty.

  4. I’m sad that time has run out on us pt, with Friday being the last home game in Tallahassee. (For the record, ptfan1 and I met for lunch at FGF!) Hopefully we won’t have to wait until next football season to have lunch again.

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