Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Final Fond Farewell

So I now have proof that we are indeed in the throes of a nasty recession. Forget the graphs, mindnumbing stats, and the stuffed shirt's frantic proclamations on the evening news- my favorite local cafe is closing! A cafe that has been in this area longer than I have. I loved going to this place- it was where I snatched up a few moments of luxury and indulgence, in the middle of the day, after drop off- before pick-up. Sometimes I'd hide behind a book or a magazine, savoring the solitude and freedom over a sandwich. Often times, I'd play the lady-who-lunches routine with a friend or two. We'd trade news and the inevitable kiddie-tales over a couple of crunchilicious salads.
The food was solidly pleasing, the menu was nothing if not reliable. I knew it by heart, as it never changed. I had the 3-4 dishes that I rotated between: If I was in breakfast mode I'd always get the egg-white omelette #3 (sundried toms, cheese, and fresh basil), I turned to the tuna sandwich when I craved protein. My most frequent request was #5- a hearts of romaine salad made stupendous by crisp apple slices, pungent blue cheese crumbles, balsamic sesame vinaigrette, and the spiced cashews were the salad's piece de resistance. When I was feeling downright extravagant I'd get the melted brie and apple sandwich.
This afternoon as a final farewell I met a couple of friends for lunch at our nearly departed cafe. I had my good ol' #5. We tried to identify an alternate locale- I really hope that Burger King isn't our only option after this economic twister wreaks it's full damage.

#5 Salad- as deconstructed by me
Dressing: pour about 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar, 3-4 tbsp. (to taste) honey, and 1/4 c. toasted sesame oil into a jar or cruet-shake well.
Spiced Nuts: In med. sized bowl mix 2-3 tbsp. maple syrup, 1 tbsp. firmly packed brown sugar, a nice pinch of cayenne, a sprinkling of salt, dash of cinnamon. Add 1 c. pecans or walnuts or cashews, mix until maple syrup concoction coats the nuts/ Place on a baking sheet in one layer. Put in oven at 375F- for about 10-15 mins. Cool.

Divide chopped hearts of romaine leaves onto salad plates, place granny smith slices on top of romaine, scatter a handful of crumbled blue cheese, feta, or goat cheese over salad. Then sprinkle spiced nuts over, douse with the balsamic sesame vinaigrette.


Katie said...

That darn economy is messing everything up! At least you have a nice autumn salad...I salads with nuts and fruit are my favorite :)

Alexa said...

It is so frustrating to see how fast our economy is changing the world around us. I can't imagine owning a restaurant right now.
Your salad looks lovely! I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Lisa said...


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