Saturday, May 22, 2010

trying new things

I went to dinner with two of my favorite moms.  These are two women who I respect and admire, who are not at all competitive and who are creative and hold themselves with class and dignity and decorum.  In short, they are women that I aspire to be like.

We went to an Afghani place.  One of the women had been there before, the other friend and I were eager to try it.  I love trying different foods, especially ethnic foods.  I am not sure why, but I thought it would be like Indian or Ethiopian food, both of which I love.  It was not as spiced as that, but was interesting.  The bread was really good and there were three kinds of sauces to put on the bread: a spicy, peppery sauce; a green sauce that was filled with cilantro and a yogurt based sauce.  We ordered a bunch of things and shared.  Butter nut squash bholani, which had a light flaky dough and a sweet creamed butter nut squash inside was spiced differently than other butter nut squash recipes and was very good.  Stuffed grape leaves were very lemony, but otherwise similar to Greek stuffed grape leaves.  The Mantu dumplings, I found to taste almost like ravioli, not very interesting at all.  We had the Afghan salad which was just tomatoes, cucumbers and cilantro and tasted like something I've eaten before.  The Naringe Palaw was a fragrant rice, dotted with pistachios and almonds.  The Banjan was eggplant with tomato sauce and cheese and had a nice velvety consistency, but a bland taste.  I enjoyed the green tea with cardamom.

The restaurant was decorated beautifully and the waiters were very nice.  It was the quiet kind of place, where everyone speaks in hushed tones and the wonderful ethnic music rounds off the hard edges.  Not the kind of place you can really take kids, though I was very happy that my girls were eager to try the leftovers I brought home and loved the rice and grape leaves.  Jason was a bit envious that I was going to this restaurant and was very interested in the bread I described, so I think we will be going back.