Table Minus Two and Counting…

13 Jun

The weekend was a time of drop-offs. Driver boy left for a missions trip to NYC (a milestone in that it’s his first going without any of his siblings), and violin girl in Nashville for a strings camp. That left us with drummer boy. For a day-and-a-half, before he heads to Ichthus–a Christian Rock Festival in Kentucky.

While in Nashville, we had a short time to eat before registering violin girl. I had talked for weeks about eating barbeque. Every thought was about barbeque. I even got the other travelers in our party to expect a barbeque bonaroo event. Luckily, a quick walk found us three eateries. None…were barbeque. One was mexicala; one, a cool java joint, and the third–the one we ate at–was a sleek, but hip Asian establishment. And while drummer boy likes rice, and sometimes egg rolls, he doesn’t really do Asian cuisine. Unless, you count red-chicken-on-a-stick?

The smells wafting from nearby patrons’ sleek, white dishware were intoxicating. Fresh, clean, and just the right proportions describe our meal. Violin girl had ordered a small cucumber and seaweed salad and I had ordered  a small plate of chicken and vegetable fried dumplings (an oxymoron, of sorts).

I didn’t think I liked seaweed. But, this was not your usual crunchy seaweed. This was a delicate mound of finely shaved, blanched perfection with the color of dark and light green beach glass. The cucumber was peeled and cut into the size and shape of finger digits. The flavor was subtle, with a hint of ginger. 

The dumplings were crispy-light and the filling was nothing like store-bought. It was moist and flavorful, with sauteed onion chunks–sweet and just the right caramelization. And, the beef and broccoli that violin girl and her sweetie shared looked nothing like the mall-inspired heaping messes of corn-starched, brown-gooped veggies and meat that Americans like to call Chinese food. No, theirs was a simple bowl of brown beef strips and light-crunchy broccoli with no brown of any kind. Served with a bowl of brown rice, this dish was the epitome of healthly eating. The flavors were simple, the ingredients devoid of any masking pretense. In a word: Perfection.

We had time enough to make our way to the Mocha Java, next door. Great coffe–all free trade, a plus. I had a coffee with steamed milk (I like my coffee with as much coffee as possible) and the others had an assortment of flavored iced and hot coffees. Drummer boy was happy, again.

So, here we are. T-minus 30 hours before our table empties its third chair and hubby and I free until Thursday night, before the first of three chairs begins to fill up once more.

I think hubby and I shall go out and find us some barbeque.

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