Saturday, September 4, 2010

Globe Trotting (by crossing the street)

Last night, in honor of our anniversary we took the kids to dinner. To me that sounds like an oxymoron but unfortunately, a reality. We made the stupid decision to get married over Labor Day weekend. Let's just say, babysitting is a little tough to find over holidays.

Anyway, we have been wanting to try Venti's which is a downtown cafe serving up delightful ensembles of Morrocan and Thai foods which are refreshingly organic. I hadn't visited before so I was excited but a little hestitant because let's face it, we are in Salem. Not exactly a food metropolis, however a town making strides at becoming more current and innovative on the food scene. Long ways to go.

Not to be rude, but downtown on a Friday evening was similar to visiting a morgue. Just totally lifeless, which immediately depressed me as we walked by empty storefronts and tacky antiques shops. Certainly not a spot I would suggest bringing out of town guests to! I think if one is going to visit downtown perhaps First Wednesday is the time to do it.

Certainly, the highlight of the area is Venti's and we weren't disappointed at the ecletic fare they offered. The kids enjoyed organic smoothies and chicken/veggie yakisoba. Ray had a fantastic Morrocan beef bowl complete with fresh pita, basmati rice, tzaziki sauce and delicious hummus.
I chose the Morrocan chicken pita. Enjoyed immensely by yours truly because of the grilled spiced chicken, feta and tzaziki sauce and fresh vegetables. I adore that stuff. For the kidless set, the bar downstairs is absolutely funky cool. Beautifully and artfully created, one might think they are in Portland!

Our next conquest was across the street at Napolean's Gelateria. Unbeknownst to me all the gelato is made fresh, in house, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out that little tidbit. When I asked I figured they were going to tell me their Sysco order arrives on Wednesday or something!

There is a pass out good Italian espresso dessert called Affogato. Fortunately, Napolean's offered it ( a very good sign) and I was really glad because I tend to have an anger issue and I didn't want to make a scene in their lovely establishment. Affogatos typically have a small scoop or two of gelato. Then, you pull a couple shots of espresso and immediately pour it over the gelato so that it kinda melts and gets all this creamy delicious goodness goin' on. Like I said, pass out good - especially when you choose the Salted Caramel flavor. So good in fact that Ray ordered one as well. Pretty huge for a total non -dessert dude, all carnivore dude.

I really like working to expand my kid's palate (not in the orthodontia sense!) but in a way they can appreciate good food, good culture and respect for those that create and grow what they eat!

1 comment:

  1. I love Venti's and I love the gelato place too. Those tiny spoons make it seem like you are getting so much!

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