Monday, October 24, 2016

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


We're going off the beaten path today to Keaton's Barbecue.  This is one of Debbie's My Home Kitchen shows.  I liked it so much that I thought I would share it with  I hope you enjoy the program and will try the barbecue.  The atmosphere alone at Keaton's is worth the trip.

It's a little more than an hour drive from Reidsville, so plan accordingly.

Monday, October 17, 2016


Like the sign says, this is RUTH'S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE.  It is located at 800 Green Valley Road in Greensboro.  Turn right at the IHOP on Battleground.  RUTH's CHRIS will be on your left a very short ways down Green Valley.  Pay close attention.  It's located in a large building and easy to miss.

I will warn you: IT IS EXPENSIVE, BUT EXTREMELY GOOD.  You probably won't eat there every day.  It's definitely a special occasion kind of place.  I took Debbie there for her birthday.

This is some of the glitter that decorated the table where we were seated.  These were tiny bits - fingertip size of confetti. 

Birthday girl Debbie reads through the wine list.  I also had a list.  She chose the 50 Acres Cabernet.  I had never heard of 50 Acres.  If I had ordered a wine, which I didn't, I would have ordered the 50 Acres.  Strange things like that happen frequently when you've been married as long as we have.

I should mention Debbie did not like the chairs at RUTH'S CHRIS.  They reminded her of the chairs at Mayflower Seafood in Reidsville - the chairs are vertically too close to the bottom of the table.  She couldn't cross her legs while dining.  Very unfortunate circumstance.

This is the appetizer I ordered.  It is CRISPY LOBSTER TAIL.  The lobster is fried.  It is served with a cream sauce, spicy Jalapeno pepper jam, and some sweet cucumbers and peppers.  I'm guessing the orange sauce is the spicy Jalapeno pepper jam.  It was awesome  I could have easily eaten just the sauce and maybe 3 or 4 pounds of the lobster.  That's lemon tied up in mesh material with a ribbon on the left back corner.  I guess I was supposed to squeeze the lemon on the lobster.  The lobster was too good to need lemon.  I didn't touch the lemon.

I can't find Debbie's dish on the online menu.  It's a beef filet topped with a sauce and crab meat.  I'm guessing the filet was about 6 ounces.  The crab was a generous portion.  The beef was tender.  I tasted both the beef and crab.  Both were good, but paled compared to my steak.

Here is my dinner.  This piece of meat must be the reason RUTH's CHRIS exists.  It is a prime 24 ounce T-Bone.  It was perfectly cooked (medium rare).  There must have been salt added because the juice from the beef was very salty - just the way I like it.  

According to our waiter, the beef was aged for 26 days and broiled in a dual (top and bottom) burner steak cooking thingie at 1800°.  I can't remember whether the aging was dry or wet.  The steak is served on a plate that has been heated to 500°.  I can vouch for the 500° because I accidentally touched the plate.  It was 492°.  I guess it cooled down a bit before I touched it.

Debbie really liked my T-bone.  She normally does not eat T-bone.  If she had to do it over, she would order the T-bone.

There's a couple things going on in this photo.  At the top of the photo, on the end of her fork, is grilled asparagus.  That's a hollandaise sauce in the small bowl under her fork.  I did not taste the asparagus.  I hate asparagus.  I found the hollandaise sauce to be unremarkable.  I'm not sure what Debbie thought of the dish.  I think she ate it all, it must have been pretty good.

I should mention the asparagus arrived at our table 5-10 minutes after the steaks were served.  Not good.

Forget about the asparagus.  Now look at the three sauces in the tray.  These are intended for my T-bone.  They are complements to my entree.  They are a BLACK TRUFFLE BUTTER, SHIITAKE DEMI-GLACE, and a HONEY SOY GLAZE.  I have no idea which sauce is which.  All I know is they were all delicious, especially the one in the center.  I especially liked how one is called a GLACE and another a GLAZE.  These three complements cost $6.00.  They were worth it.  When no one was around and my steak was cleaned down to the bone, I tore off small pieces of bread and dipped them in the center sauce.  Yummy for the tummy.

If you want a peaceful and quiet dinner, I recommend RUTH'S CHRIS on Sunday evening.  From 6:30 PM until 8:30 PM, we had two adjoining dinning rooms to ourselves.  We could see into a third dining room where some sort of wine tasting group of about 15 people were eating.  A fourth dining room was completely empty.  I can only assume we came on an unusual day and time.  I think RUTH'S CHRIS has been open for quite a few years, so I doubt business is alway this bad.  There were almost as many staff people working as there were customers.

Here's a shot of the bar.  I think this was a waiter standing at the bar.  There were no customers and no bartender.  It looked like a helluva nice bar.  It was well stocked, neat, clean and empty.

This is Shawn (or Shaun).  I couldn't read his name tag in the semi-darkness.  Shawn was our waiter.  Shawn was friendly and helpful and talkative.  Shawn was apparently bored.  He had no customers.  I can only hope on a busy night he would have been less chatty.  I expect most people would like a talkative waiter.  I am not one of those people, especially on my wife's birthday.

Did you know Shawn owns a Weber grill and an outdoor cooker which will hold seven turkeys.  If you ever need a turkey(s) cooked and you've run out of cooker space, contact Shawn.  He can help you.

Our waiter talked a lot.  Frankly I got lost several times.  He talked about grocery stores where you could find beef kinda like, but not exactly like, RUTH'S CHRIS.  He talked about restaurants he has worked in or owned all over the country.  Did you know there are more than 50,000 places to eat in New York City?  Don't believe me?  Go ask our RUTH'S CHRIS waiter.  He worked and lived in NYC for many years.

Strangely, our waiter had never heard of SPARKS STEAKHOUSE.  SPARKS is a famous New York City restaurant.  SPARKS has been in operation since 1966.  It's so well known the mafia executes people on the sidewalk in front of SPARKS.  I know because I've eaten at SPARKS.  Less than a month after I ate at SPARKS, the mafia blasted a couple of "bad guys" at the front door.  SPARKS is so cool they change the tablecloth between courses.  Our waiter, who has never heard of SPARKS, simply scraped our tablecloth before serving dessert. 

I recommend you look at the SPARKS web site.  It makes RUTH'S CHRIS look kinda humble, but SPARKS is located in NYC and RUTH'S CHRIS is in Greensboro.

I almost forgot.  I asked our waiter about the odd name of the restaurant - RUTH'S CHRIS.  According to Chatty Guy, a woman named Ruth Fertel bought the first restaurant from a guy named Chris.  Chris' Steakhouse was located in New Orleans.  Ruth was required to keep the name Chris. thus Chris' Steakhouse turned into RUTH'S CHRIS STEAKHOUSE.

Check out this dessert.  It's White Chocolate Bread Pudding with a birthday candle.  Thank goodness Shawn did not sing Happy Birthday to Debbie.  The pastry chef wrote the greeting in chocolate sauce on the plate.

It was definitely bread pudding, but with a cake flavor.  It was good, but different from any bread pudding I've ever had.  Debbie said it was the white chocolate.  I have to admit I've never had white chocolate bread pudding.

The sauces in the little silver cups are Tia Maria and Frangelico.  The dessert was available with a choice of maybe five sauces.  We choose two because we didn't know what Tia Maria was and wanted to try it.  Tia Maria is a sauce made Jamaican Rum and Jamaican Coffee Beans.  Frangelico is made from hazelnuts.  Tia Maria was "bigly" delicious.

Note Debbie made this photo.  The ethereal look is courtesy of the candlelight and her Samsung Galaxy S7 cell phone.

The two-person dinner tab was $196 with the tip, but there was a major problem with the bill. 

The waiter failed to properly process my credit card.  The credit card machine printed notices that the card was rejected.  The waiter failed to notice the rejection and brought me pieces of paper that had no place to sign.  I ignored it and signed a blank space on the bottom of the credit card notice.  I believe that would have been the end of it and we would have walked out with a free meal in our bellies.  However, Debbie told the waiter about the missing signature line.  Oops!  He realized he had messed up, took my credit card and ran it through his machine again.  It worked on the second pass.  Goodbye $196.

RUTH'S CHRIS is not cheap, but it's very good.

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Saturday, October 15, 2016


The week is over.  We've packed up and headed back to Rockingham County.  This is our last meal at Kure Beach.

Well, it's almost Kure Beach.  We missed the Arby's in nearby Wilmington.  It must have been pretty well hidden behind the trees that line Highway 421.

This is actually more than an hour from Kure Beach in Warsaw.  We didn't get to eat until after 11:00 AM.

I am a sucker for TV ads.  I had to try Arby's new Pork Belly sandwich.  It's a bun with not particularly thick-cut pork belly.  The pork belly is covered by an unidentified yellow cheese, an unidentified white sauce, and onion rings.

It wasn't bad, but it tasted nothing like the steaming mass of pork that you hear about from voice actor Ving Rhames in the Arby's commercial.  Ving really made me want a Pork Belly Sandwich. 

I don't regret spending $12+ for two Pork Belly sandwiches and two cups of coffee, but I won't go running back to Arby's to get another one.

P.S.  Artby's coffee sucks

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Thursday, October 13, 2016


Kure Beach.

It looks like a pizza, but it's something else.  It's leftovers, very tasty leftovers. 

Yes, that's a Coney Island Hard Root Beer in the glass.  

It's round like a pizza.  It's sliced like a pizza.  You eat it like a pizza (with your hands, Donald and Richard Moore).  However, it didn't taste like a pizza.

It's something Debbie threw together to clean out the refrigerator.  It's not a pizza.

For a crust Debbie used Naan Bread.  Naan works well as a pizza crust, even though it tastes nothing like pizza crust.  The sauce is Tomato Spice Medley.   Tomato Spice Medley tastes nothing like pizza sauce.  The toppings are mainly leftovers from soup and sandwich night - ham, roast beef, salami, turkey and cheeses.  Giant shrimp from a pasta and shrimp dish went on the top

The whole thing was popped in an oven to warm up everything and crisp the crust.

It was very good.  Debbie works miracles with food.

Note:  If you're interested in trying a hard root beer, Reidsville's Food Lion sells Coney Island.  Yes, it's true, you can buy hard root beer at Reidsville's Food Lion.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Soup and Sandwich night at Kure Beach.

Some folks calls 'em subs, some calls 'em hoagies, some calls 'em blimpies, gatsbys, po'boys, zeppelins, heroes, wedges, or grinders.  I like calling them hoagies.

Pictured above is the selection of meats and cheeses, olive and feta salad, bread, a tomato and a soup that went into our soup and sandwich night.

Debbie first drizzled extra virgin olive oil on the split loaf of French bread and then began the construction with a layer of ham.

Roast beef, salami, turkey followed and then Provolone cheese.

The Provolone was topped with Havarti cheese, which you see Debbie slicing,

It's all wrapped in foil and then placed in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

After coming out of the oven, the sandwich is slathered in mayonnaise.  No mustard this time.

A layer of sliced tomato is added to the sandwich.

Close the sandwich up, put it on a plate with some Cheetos and add a bowl of soup.

Debbie didn't make the soup.  She bought it at the Veggie Wagon in Carolina Beach.  It's She-Crab.  Asked why it's called She-Crab soup, Debbie said it's only made with female crabs.  I doubted this explanation and looked it up online.

Wikipedia is not clear about the sex of the crabs.  Crab roe (eggs) accounts for the orange color.  Obviously crab roe only comes from the female crab, but the soup also contains crab meat.  The sex of that crab meat is not clearly specified.

Anyway, Debbie didn't much care for the She-Crab soup.  She ate only a small bit and the leftover went into the fridge.  I, however, thought it was pretty darn good.  I cleaned my bowl and then ate the leftover soup the next day

Here's the two desserts we split after the soup and sandwich.  This is a chocolate chip cream cheese bar.  It's not a dessert I would repeat.

This is Tiramisu.  It was the best.  We had leftover desserts which were eaten the next day.

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Saturday, October 8, 2016


It's nothing complicated or special about the recipes, but this may have been the best dinner we ate at Kure Beach.  The idea for it came out of Debbie's head.

At the bottom left is a baked potato with sour cream and butter.  At the upper left is a piece of toasted French bread.  To the right of the bread is Debbie's standard baby tomato and greens salad.  Under the knife are some gigantic shrimp.  On the bottom right is a Feta cheese and olive salad.  In the center is a pan-grilled filet of beef covered in sauteed mushrooms.

My only complaint was there should have some Old Bay seasoning on those shrimp.

They're not pictured, but dessert was bread pudding and a Mille-Feuille. I hope Mille-Feuille impressed you.  It's also called a Napoleon which is a flaky pastry with custard and chocolate.

I don't remember what day it was and for some reason I didn't go and take a photo.  It rained pretty hard for most of the day.  The "pool boy" was called to check the chlorine, pH, etc. in the pool water.  The heavy rainfall forced him to turn a valve to reduce the rising water level.  He turned the valve, assumed everything was good and left.  Unfortunately for the pool boy, he turned the wrong valve.  The pool began filling rather than draining the excess rain water.  Soon the pool overflowed and began to flood the nearby unoccupied condos.  If not for an alert Debbie, there would have been a hell of a mess.  She called the realty company to report the overflow.  Pool boy was called back out to fix his mistake.

The overflowing pool would have made a fine photo to accompany the steak dinner.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016


The stove is black, so it's a bit hard to see what kind of pan Debbie is cooking in.  It's a black, cast-iron skillet.  Bringing the cast-iron skillet from home was my idea.  I am smart in that way.

The three pieces of fish you see cooking is Grouper.  Grouper has a very white flesh.  The brown color is not the natural color of Grouper.  The Grouper has been wrapped in Prosciutto.  Debbie's theory is wrapping anything in Prosciutto makes it better.

After cooking on top of the stove, the fish and the skillet were placed in an oven for a few minutes.  I don't think that was really necessary because the fish came out slightly over-cooked. 

The Grouper was served with slaw, baked potato, a little piece of toast, and what I called Fish Gravy.  Debbie said it was not gravy, but a Fish Sauce.  Gravy or sauce?  I'm not sure what the difference is.

The third piece of Grouper was saved for lunch the next day for one person.  It was warmed up in the microwave for about 45 seconds.  It was served with no Gravy or Sauce.  The leftover third piece was the best of all. 

I love Grouper.  It's one of the reasons I went on this vacation at the coast.

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Monday, October 3, 2016


You won't find this little out-of-the-way place in Greensboto, or Winston, or Burlington, or even Danville.  If you want to eat at Jack Mackerel's Island Grill, you going to have to drive down I-40 for about four hours.  Jack Mackerel's is located in Kure Beach, NC.

I'm not sure how to pronounce Kure.  It might be cure or kur -ray or who knows what, but, so far, it seems like a fine place to dine outside of Reidsville.

Kure Beach is a quiet little village just south of Wilmington.  It's very near Carolina Beach.

Debbie tells me there 's no grocery store or seafood market at Kure Beach.  You have to drive to Carolina Beach to find those kinds of places.

Kure Beach does have a boardwalk, a few restaurants, and a fishing pier. Oh, yes, I almost forgot...a t-shirt shop.  

The fishing pier at Kure Beach.

There were quite a few people walking around, especially considering it's late September.  Everybody has a dog, so watch where you step.  Everyone says "hello" when they pass you on the sidewalk. If you're standing on a street corner and a vehicle stops at the traffic light, they're probably going to wave at you.

Walking the dog is the favorite pastime at Kure Beach

My first thought is to call Kure Beach the Mayberry of the coast.

Jack Mackerel's is decorated with a lot of Tiki lamps, a Tiki room, thatch roofs over the tables, and seashells.  But, when the waitress brought out Texas Pete hot sauce and Heinz Ketchup with the menus, I had to remind myself this was the Island Grill and not Mayberry's Snappy Lunch,

I asked our waitress if she knew what a RUTABAGA is.  She got an odd look on her face, thought really hard, and then guessed that it's a car.  No, dear, a rutabaga is a root vegetable.  A Studebaker is a car.  Maybe this really is the Snappy Lunch.

For the vegetable illiterate, these are Rutabagas - no headlights, no bumpers, no license plates.  They are the second cheapest root vegetable at Food Lion, only cabbage is cheaper.  Notice these Rutabagas were imported from Canada and still very cheap.  

The price of Rutabags explains why my mother used to shop for Rutabagas at the Byrd's in Haw River.  My mother was an exceedingly thrifty shopper, especially when it came to groceries and clothes.

There is a family legend about my mother loudly and publicly shaming the Byrd's manager for misspelling Rutabaga.  The legend is almost certainly true.  My mother was an unpleasant times.

The Jack Mackerel's bar ran almost entire length of the front room.  Behind it was a line of televisions, all tuned to a single football game.  The Colts were playing somebody.  We were in a quiet back room with a large table of senior citizens, which explains why I don't know who the Colts were playing.

Debbie's Shrimp and Grits denies that we've landed in Snappy Lunch.  This was an odd looking and odd tasting combination of shrimp, andouille sausage, green peppers, and grits.  It was all sprinkled with some sort of yellow (maybe cheddar) cheese.  This was a thick mixture, not soupy.  I was given several very tasty bites in exchange for my oysters.  It was very good.  Order the Shrimp and Grits if you ever go to Snappy Lunch...I mean Jack Mackerel's

Here's my plate of fried oysters with slaw and french fries.  I know this sounds a bit ordinary...almost Mayflowery or Libby Hillish.  Hey, I had an urge for fried oysters, so I ordered the fried oyster platter.  The fries were over-fried.  I did not finish the serving.  The slaw was ordinary.  But the oysters were excellent.  They were on the small side, but lightly breaded and not greasy,  They easily satisfied my oyster urge.

Notice the beer on the right side of the photo.

It's Coney Island Root Beer with 5.8% alcohol.  It's made in Brooklyn, NY.

The waitress brought out the root beer with a glass of ice.  I've never had alcoholic root beer.  I wasn't sure what to do with the ice.  Was it to refill my usual glass of ice water or was it for the root beer?  I decided to pour my root beer over the ice.  I later learned that was a good and correct decision.  I give a big thumbs up to alcoholic root beer.  There was no alcohol sting, just a sweet sassafras root beer flavor.  It went very well with the oysters.

I asked our waitress about the three beers listed under NC BEERS on the beer menu.  She explained the three beers were all in made in North Carolina.  She even explained in which cities the beers are made. 

One of the three beers on the list was BLUE MOON BELGIUM ALE.  She could not remember in which city BLUE MOON is made.  That's understandable because the brewery where BLUE MOON was made is no longer in operation, but it's still on JACK MACKEREL'S NC BEERS menu.

Do you know where BLUE MOON was once made?

Over the next few days, I'll be writing about what we ate at Kure Beach,

Note: It took a couple of days to figure it out, but I have to admit Kure Beach is not Mayberry.  The clue was a very loud pack of motorcycles that passed by my bedroom about every five minutes - around the clock.

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Saturday, September 3, 2016


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Begin with a few Portobello mushrooms.  Remove the stems.  Lightly salt the 'shrooms.

Slice up a few Jalapeno peppers.  These red ones were grown by Rockingham County Commissioner Marc Richardson.

Open up a bag of shredded cheese.  We used an Italian Cheese Blend.  Use whatever you like.

Sprinkle a generous portion of cheese into the mushroom caps.  Don't be stingy.

Top the cheese with the sliced peppers.  And then add a dash of ground black pepper.

Here's what they look like before being put into a 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes.

When the cheese looks melted and the 'shrooms are a little wrinkled, pull them out.  They're done.

Serve them with a steak sandwich.  These babies are delicious!

Saturday, August 20, 2016


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It sits on a small hill.  There are some trees blocking the view.  You can't see the parking lot from the street.  A road sign is the only indication of its existence. To say the least, the restaurant atop 2412 Battleground Avenue in Greensboro is a bit obscure.  

MYTHOS GRILL was Debbie's idea.  I was a bit reluctant.  I couldn't imagine eating a dinner of everything wrapped in grape leaves or drinking wine that tastes like Pine-Sol.

I was wrong.  Everything is not wrapped in grape leaves.  They offered a Pine-Sol wine, Kourtaki Retsina, but we didn't drink any alcohol.  I wanted to try the MYTHOS Greek beer, but I didn't.  We stuck with water.

We kicked things off with fried Zucchini sticks and Tzatziki sauce.  That's the Tzatziki sauce in front on the left - the white sauce.  The other on the right is Greek salad dressing.  We had to guess which sauce was which because there was no one to ask.

Debbie kinda wrinkled her nose when I ordered the Zucchini, but she was quickly won over on the first taste.  I feel funny writing about Zucchini, but here I am writing about it and loving the taste.  I guess you could fry anything and I would love it.

Here is my Greek salad.  I'm not sure what makes it a Greek salad.  It was lettuce, tomato, feta cheese, olives, green peppers, cucumbers, and of course the Greek salad dressing.  All the ingredients are fresh and crisp.  The Greek salad dressing was pink and it was slightly sweet and tart at the same time.  That's pretty much it for the salad.

This is Debbie's Authentic Gyro.  According to the menu, it is "three strips of our Gyro, cooked on our special gyro machine" - that's it.  As you can see, it's a bit more than "three strips of our gyro".  It was actually a sandwich made of pita bread stuffed with Gyro meat, lettuce, and some other stuff.  The menu was not of any help and there was no waiter to ask.

This is Debbie's Spanakopita.  There used to be two pieces on her plate, but she nearly demolished one.  Spanakopita is spinach pie.  The crust is pastry.   Debbie was not impressed with the Spanakopita.  She said she makes it better.  It's been some time since Debbie made Spanakopita, so I won't comment on her claim.

This is my Combination Platter.  From left to right is Spanakopita, Chicken Souvlaki , and Gyro.  Souvlaki is a meat on a stick.  In my case, it was chicken.  There are two pieces of pita bread under the Souvlaki and another small cup of Tzatziki for dipping the Souvlaki.

My Spanakopita was cooked several minutes more than Debbie's, but it still tasted fine.  The Souvlaki was a bit dry, but it was good with pita bread and a dab of Tzatziki. 

The Gyro meat could have been made of almost anything.  All I can say with certainty is that it was incredible.  Very, very nicely flavored and very tender.  If we go back, I will order a big pile of Gyro.

Here's Debbie stuffing her pie hole with Spanakopita.  She loves it when I snap photos of her with food in her mouth.

The MYTHOS GRILL team gave us a thumbs-up when they noticed they were being photographed.

Notice the Sanitation Grade on the right side of the photo.  It indicates a score of 97.5.

I point this out because, according to the MYTHOS web site, "At Mythos Grill we are very proud of the fact that we, in our 7 years in business, have not received a health rating score of less than 100"

Although the restaurant appeared really clean. that claim of a seven year perfect score is obviously not true.

Here is a view of the MYTHOS GRILL dinner crowd.  In the restaurant, there were probably twice as many people as you see in the photo.  This was a busy place.  A lot of customers came in to pick up to-go orders.

When we entered MYTHOS we were told to find a seat wherever he could.  We grabbed the first seats near the front door.  

A waiter took our order.  He returned a few minutes later with two cups of sauce, threw them down, and scurried away. No explanation, no nothing.

He returned a little later with the food, threw it down, and ran away.  I don't think we ever saw him again.

After dinner we waited and waited for the bill.  It never came to the table.  We gave up, stepped to the register, and paid what we owed.  Debbie noted the guy running the register seemed to have a good memory.  He knew what we had ordered.

I'm not sure whether the abrupt service is normal for a Greek grill or they were just too busy to be nice.  It was the type of service you might expect at a hamburger or hot dog stand.  Wham, bam, thank you, ma'am! 

The food was good.  The prices were reasonable.  Nobody was mean.  Nobody was nasty.  Just don't expect to be pampered or fussed over.  Ain't nobody got time for dat!

This is the dessert we ordered to-go.  It is two pieces of Baklava.  Debbie said it was too sweet.  I thought it was pretty tasty, although it was missing nuts.  We have ordered Baklava from Amazon and various other restaurants.  Baklava always contains walnuts or pistachios.

Our dinner for two was about $30, including the tip, which was pretty meager.

Next planned outing: Saffron