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.

3 comments:

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...

Delicious!

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