Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dinner at the garlic palace

In a small northern Idaho city, there is a Greek restaurant with its motto painted on the outside wall: If you love garlic, we love you!

We stopped there on the way home and parked on the edges of a crowded lot. It looked like weekend crowds, but it wasn't the weekend. When we got inside we discovered we'd come on belly dancing night. Maybe that was why there were so many people.

I'd been the one to choose the restaurant. The reviews mentioned garlic, but didn't say anything about the dancer. She must've kept it pretty low-key, I decided, and anyway, I can't decide how to feel about belly dancing. I won't do it in a restaurant, but it's a sport that welcomes curvy women, and I respect that.

So we sat down and explored the garlic cuisine. It was not garlic sauteed in hot olive oil at the beginning stages of Italian red sauce. It was fresh, raw garlic, pressed generously into everything. The oil we dipped our bread in, the cold pasta salad, the veggie gyro.

The garlic in the dipping oil was wonderful. The garlic in the pasta salad was fiery. The garlic in the veggie gyros was just too much for the girls. And while we were still working on our appetizers, the belly dancer appeared.

She is indeed curvy, but not too over the top. She only performs once a week, circulating between the rooms in the restaurant. You can tell she's headed your way when the sound system switches to loud, lively music, and every man fastens his eyes to his plate.

Or at least, that's what happened at our table. So the dancer came up to us and asked where we were from.

"Northern Utah," I told her. "We're on our way back from Spring Break."

She interviewed us a little more before turning to my youngest daughter. "I didn't mean to scare you," she said. "I love dancing and I love people, and when you put them together I get a little crazy. But you look like a sweet, calm family. I'll ask them to turn down the music back here. I didn't realize it was so loud."

She danced for other people in other rooms after that, and we finished dinner and left for the hotel. We took some of the leftovers home in the cooler, and Husband ate them later, after we were home.

The next morning's car ride to work was garlic-scented. Ick.

So if you go to a white-painted building in northern Idaho with the garlicky slogan painted on the side, make sure you all eat the food together. And avoid social gatherings for the next day or so.

1 comment:

  1. You had me at garlic. I'll have to check this place out next time I'm up there. :)


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Emails from home

Most of our email is pretty mundane. Once in a while, though, the immediate flavor of country life sings amid the shopping lists and communications to the office. Here are some stored on our home computer, written by people in our house and edited for privacy.

Some of the terms are softened for a family audience, but not by much.

Your evil kitty just woke up your son by urping up a mouse on his lion blankie.

You know you live in a small town when…

...Fifty-year old people born and raised in town are ‘new comers’.

...You are more afraid of locking yourself out of your house than of being robbed.

...The library has a different schedule on every day of the week.

...You are darn proud that your town has a library. Incidentally, your library account is handled not by a card but by a number that the librarian types into her computer. You have trouble remembering it, but the librarian can always tell you what it is.

...You can honestly say, "The Mayor is in front of the house fixing his manure spreader."

Good news: We caught another mouse.

Bad news: We have at least one more.

Good news: He must be hungry and he thinks of traps as a food source, since he robbed the bait of an un-sprung trap, finished the bait of the sprung one, and ate an eye from his dead brother.

Hope you're done with breakfast.