Saturday, June 26, 2010

Down on Main Street

I trekked north back to Atlantic this weekend to spend some quality time with the family. The climate as I drove went from deliriously hot to slightly less insanely hot. But still unnecessarily humid. I just love it when my sweaty clothes cling to my body and I feel as though I've got a lifetime membership to a global sauna. Have I ever mentioned I'm not a huge fan of summer?

For our Friday night out on the town, my parents and I ambled down to Main Street Grill for dinner. Main Street Grill is probably the nicest restaurant in Atlantic. Back in the day, flocks of gussied-up teenage schoolboys and girls would dine at Main Street before high-school dances. Main Street is a family-owned restaurant housed in a 1890 refurbished historical hotel. The interior is of Victorian Architecture, stenciled wood beaming, wild-life trophies and hand-painted murals. Each room has individual decor with displays of a local artist. The seven-page menu ranges from a 1/2 lb "Cardiac Burger" to Sicilian Pasta. Additionally, the owner offers a fresh supply of homemade fudge varieties, classically delicious desserts, and crunchy caramel corn when in season.

Please take note of the large buffalo head mounted on the wall. Oh yes.

My mom and I shared the Grilled Chicken Pita. A plethora of grilled zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes and chicken mounted on a pita and secured with cheeses. Was quite tasty but still moderately healthful. My dad got the "Quesadilla with a Kick" but I don't have a picture of his plate.

Dessert was naturally in order as an ending to our fine dining experience. We ordered the Fried Bread Pudding. The house bread pudding melded apples, raisins, nuts and bread into a cohesive mass which is then fried, rolled in cinnamon sugar and topped with caramel sauce and whipped cream.

We were all quite fond of the combination of crunchy exterior crust and soft doughy middle. Tasted like a fried cinnamon roll. Who wouldn't like that?

Friday, June 18, 2010

And Then We Feasted

My advisor /boss recently asked me to dog-sit his two canines while he vacated town for a week. His pooches, Fizbo the beagle and Fontella the lab, are very friendly and low-key. To better care for the dogs, I am staying the night at the house. Fizbo sleeps in the bed with me and must be touching my leg the entire night. The only time I heard her make a sound was when I was in the shower one night. I thought tornado sirens were going off, so I poked my head out and there was Fizbo-sitting in front of the bathroom door howling. She was experiencing seperation anxiety or something.

My co-worker/friend, Amanda, stayed the night with me Thursday night. Originally, we intended to cook a feast in our boss's new toy- The Big Green Egg. The Egg is a combination smoker, grill and oven. We were hoping to grill some naan on the stone oven. Unfortunately, we had some difficulties lighting the coals and getting the grill up to temperature. So we altered our meal plan and began cooking food inside.

The Egg. It was smarter than us.

Butternut squash.

Potatoes from Amanda's garden.

The final stew contained butternut squash, onion, green chili peppers, potatoes, black beans, cayenne pepper, sweet curry powder, garam masala, black pepper, salt, ground coriander, paprika and cumin. Was a rather spicey brew.

Naan is supposed to be baked in a Tandoor oven, a cylindrical clay oven used in cooking and baking. Temperatures in a tandoor can approach 900°F. Well, we don't have a tandoor oven. I've never even seen a tandoor oven. After doing some research on the wonderful world-wide-web, I learned this style of baking can be sufficely replicated on the stove top. Our contraption is a cast-iron skillet with a bowl placed over top as a lid.

Huge table for two.

All together now.

I believe there may have been some moaning during the consumption of this meal. For just throwing stuff in a pot, this dinner was mighty tasty.