Friday arrives with the promise of another iconic date night. Pre-COVID, that meant gathering with friends at local restaurants to catch up on the week’s happenings, have a drink or two and dive into shared plates of delicious food. I am an adventurous eater, so my responsibility was to order the unknown dish on the menu and try to coax the peanut butter and jelly group to try it. We are fortunate to have a vast array of authentic family-run Chinese, Mexican, Korean, Indian, Polish, Greek, Bulgarian, German, Afghani, and Ethiopian restaurants. With such great options, I see no reason for boring food.
That’s not to say I don’t have my favorites. When I was little, we had a Tamale Lady. She ran a roadside stand and my mother often loaded us in the stroller for a tasty afternoon excursion. I have fond memories of homemade enchiladas, burritos, and chili con carne. There are lovely comfort-food worthy Chinese dishes. Douban Yu and hotpot top my list. Saag paneer, Spanakopita, Fasolka po Bretonsku, Fasolakia Lathera, Moussaka also find a place at my table.
Lately, date night has been a challenge. While I cook more, we are lucky that our favorite haunts offer carry out, and I am happy to do my part to ensure their survival. As restrictions ease, tents cover their parking lots, and alfresco dining is in vogue. A light summer breeze, excellent food, and a chance to safely connect face to face with friends is an excellent reason for a celebration.
Do you have dinner plans?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer