Tangled Branches: Satiated
riveting tales of how we sustain ourselves
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Hot Breads (Indian Bakery)
I don't believe I've mentioned Hot Breads here yet. We just went there for lunch today. When I first heard about this place, I thought it sounded kind of strange - European-style breads and pastries with Indian flavorings and fillings. But it works. We had Chicken Tikka Panini and a Jalapeno-Cheese Croissant for lunch. The croissants and their cousins (buns, puffs, plaits) are all made up and sitting in the bakery case. The Chicken Tikka Panini is made-to-order and only available during lunch and dinner hours. Now don't go there expecting the panini to be served on focaccia; this bread is more like a very large, very flat hamburger bun. They fill it with Chicken Tikka (ground up about the texture of hamburger meat), coriander chutney, chopped onions and sliced tomato. Then they grill the whole thing on a ridged grill and cut it into quarters. We find that sharing one between us two, with a side order of a savory pastry works out about right for lunch.
DH never wants to order the buns (they look like baked roast pork buns/cha xiu bao, only bigger) because he thinks the filling is too skimpy. I like them, myself. He goes more for the croissants. They have basically the same fillings in each style of pastry: spinach, jalapeno & cheese, paneer, chicken tikka, chicken curry, keema, mixed veg, potato & bell pepper - I've probably left out something but that's the general idea. Not all of them will necessarily be available at any one time.
We also like the pav vada, which is a potato patty on a hamburger bun with coriander chutney, tomato and chopped onion. I think they give you a lime wedge with that too. Those come 2 to an order.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
The Long and the Short of Our Trip to Charleston (part 5)
Uh oh. I let this go too long, and now I don't remember all the details. This is what I do remember.
For lunch, we had a slice of pizza at Andolini's. This appears to be a local hangout. Pizza slices were cut from a pre-cooked pizza and then reheated to crisp them up. They were OK, but nothing you'd want to seek out.
Dinner at Hominy Grill was very nice. It's a toss-up between this and 39 Rue de Jean as to which was the best meal we had in Charleston. Here's where my memory is a little hazy. I know I had Shrimp & Grits as the main course. DH had some kind of fish - I think it was local fish, maybe gray triggerfish? - and I don't remember how it was prepared, but he liked it. I think we had the jalapeno hush puppies and the shrimp and okra beignets for appetizers. I remember that they were too much food to begin the meal with. We generally share a dessert these days, if we get one, and I don't remember what we had - I know the buttermilk pie is their specialty, but we may have rejected it on the grounds that it contains nutmeg and DH doesn't like nutmeg. So I realize I've made a pretty poor job of writing a restaurant review here, but we did like the place very much.
On the trip back home, we stopped at Parker's BBQ in Wilson, NC. What to say about this? We were disappointed. It's been talked up on various web sites and various discussion boards and so we thought we knew what to expect. We did like just the pork meat, but not the sauce (very little seasoning in the vinegar). I tried the fried chicken - nothing special. Corn sticks were dry, as expected. Green beans seemed to have been dumped right from the can onto the plate. We concluded that it might be worth taking a cooler and bringing home some of the meat to season and assemble into a meal. Or, bring some good rolls, some good sauce, and some good cole slaw, then buy the meat there and assemble a picnic to eat outdoors on their picnic tables. But I really don't think we'll be going back there.