Middle Eastern Experience
at bizzability.com on 04/25/2011 - 09:52 am |
Tag: Food & Drink
Not really that adventurous when it comes to food. When I'm hungry, which seems to be more and more lately, I want what I know I will like. No surprises - that’s my motto when it comes to filling my belly and eliminating the grumpy mood that hunger leaves in its wake. But this past weekend, I found myself leaving the my comfort/safety zone and took a trip down to Ft. Lauderdale for a very interesting restaurant that I never would have known existed.
The destination was a Persian restaurant, and our GPS said that it was about 20 minutes away from our house -- which meant that my wife only had to deal with me grunting for at least that long. The GPS delivered us to a shopping plaza and a lot of foot traffic. We had made reservations, under the suggestion of the hostess at the restaurant, and were running a few minutes late. After driving around the entire plaza we found the place kiddy cornered between a travel company and a super market.
They had nice bistro tables in front of a fountain that made for a semi-romantic setting, but what really caught my eye was the hookah pipes that some of the patrons were smoking. The decor once we entered the doors was of a Middle Eastern vibe (makes sense), with a fully stocked bar as you enter, a stage for a band that was setting up and a small dance floor. The hookah pipes lined little shelves aligned on the far walls.
We got a seat right next to the stage, and checked out the menu. A variety of lamb, fish, chicken and steak took most of the menu pages. These meals came with a side of the Persian variety, but like I had mentioned before, we were looking for something different. My wife decided on lamb shanks, which came two to a plate and a chickpea style rice side. I should add before I go onto the food, that the light setting had different color lights that were set on the stage -- and seeing that we were right up next to the stage, the lighting affected the way the food looked. Her rice side didn't look too appetizing, but was surprisingly very tasty. The lamb chops, were perfectly cooked, but did lack flavor.
I ordered a combination kabob of meat and chicken. The meal, like my wife’s, came with a rice side. My rice was long grain rice with saffron sprinkled on top. The rice by itself was very tasty and I felt that the saffron really didn't add too much to it. The kabobs were quite interesting. The chicken didn't taste like any chicken that the USDA has approved and the steak was actually ground meat formed into steak tips. Saying that, the steak was incredibly tender. The chicken, however, didn't bring anything to the meal.
All in all, I was expecting something with more flavors. I don't know what I was expecting, but when I think of Middle Eastern food, I picture spice -- this was really bland all around. The ambiance was second to none, the prices were very reasonable, but the food didn't do much for me except leave me with a belly full of gas. I will defiantly go back to this spot to try the hookah pipes, but I will be eating at one of my favorite spots before I go.