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Showing posts from May, 2007

Cracker Barrel

No, this restaurant was not on my list of places to eat, it was just a convenient place to stop for a meal during a very long drive. My friend Vicky had helped me pack my stuff when I moved out of Columbia, and we were driving from Mizzou to Chicago when we decided to stop for lunch. I believe we were somewhere near the border of Missouri and Illinois when we saw the sign for Cracker Barrel. I told Vicky I'd never eaten there, so we chose that place to have lunch.

The restaurant had a sign outside that said something along the lines of "everyone here is welcome, regardless of race, age, etc." I forget the exact words, but that was the gist of what the sign said. I took note of this sign, which I thought was interesting. Cracker Barrel, aside from being a restaurant, also has a country store which sells little bric-a-bracs. I wandered around the store for a bit before we were seated, but saw nothing I particularly wanted to buy.

I looked at the menu, and it had typical offe…

Trattoria Strada Nova

Another restaurant on my Columbia list was Trattoria Strada Nova, since my friend Felicity had told me good things about it. So on one of my last days in town, I went there for a late lunch. To start off, I had the Grilled Portobello. This picture isn't very appetizing, but the mushrooms (drizzled with olive oil) were really good.

Grilled Portobello

For my main course, I had the Grilled Tuna. According to the menu, it was to be "served rare, with traditional nicoise accompaniments in dijon dressing". Sounded promising, and besides, in my limited experience, it's hard to go wrong with grilled tuna. However, the dish proved to be a bit of a disappointment. It tasted bland, fish included, which I found strange. Usually, tuna is very tasty even by itself (raw and unseasoned). The dressing was unremarkable, and as mentioned, even the tuna lacked flavor. I was not very satisfied with the dish, so I decided to have dessert to feel better about the meal.

Grilled Tuna

I chose the…

Cafe Berlin

I discovered Cafe Berlin through my good friend Felicity Duncan, who brought me there when I was in the mood for a hearty, post-hangover breakfast. I had slept over at her apartment after a night of partying, because she had been in no state to drive me home. Apparently, Cafe Berlin is a great place to eat after waking up from a late night out, because they serve breakfast fare until 3pm.

I like the place because they serve organic food (including ketchup), offer vegetarian options, and employ a very, very cute waiter. Felicity pointed out this last one to me, and even in my post-party haze I could totally appreciate the beauty of this man. He had longish curly blond hair, and fantastic blue eyes. I've gone to Cafe Berlin several times, for all the reasons mentioned above.

Anyway, before I digress any further, I will start talking about the food. Usually, I have the Eggs Benedict with the vegetarian sausage in place of the Patchwork ham. I like the veggie sausage because it has the…

Sophia's, Columbia MO

I'd been studying in Columbia for going on two years, and just recently realized that I had not really documented much of my eating experiences there. Also, I had not taken time out to visit the restaurants which old-timers in the college town have said to be the best. In true crammer fashion, I left this all until the last minute. I took the food and restaurants there for granted simply because I lived there, and assumed that I would always have lots of time to go to my favorite places and visit new ones. As my graduation day loomed, I realized I had very little time to do either, so I had to step up the eating.

Sophia's was at the top of my list of places to go. It's a sister restaurant of my favorite restaurant in downtown Columbia, Addison's. I asked my friend Holly Villines to have lunch there with me, and we were both happy with the menu. Neither of us eat meat other than seafood, and there were a lot of dishes we could choose from. To start, we shared the Spinac…

Finbars Italian Kitchen

This is the last of my super-delayed entries from the holiday season (haha how's that for late) which I spent with my family in the LA area. We spent one whole shopping day in the complex of South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa (mostly digging for bargains at Nordstrom Rack). An important part of the shopping process is fueling up for all that walking and carrying of shopping bags. We were all hungry by late afternoon, since we had not had lunch yet. We looked for restaurants in the complex so we could still shop after eating.

We found Finbars Italian Kitchen a few meters away from where we were shopping, so we went in and quickly ordered our food. We were all famished. To start, we had the Caprese (fresh mozzarella with sliced roma tomatoes), then for my main course I had the Southwest Portobello Mushroom Ravioli. I often have dishes that have portobello here because these mushrooms are very expensive back home.

The food actually took some time to be served, so we were all so very hung…

Mimis Cafe

I'm now on vacation since I just graduated (yay, me!) so I have more time to update this blog. I've been looking at pictures of food that I've taken in the past months, and sometimes I have to think about where I ate particular dishes. Before I totally forget details of more meals, I'm writing another much-delayed entry. This is about my last meal in Southern California before heading back to Columbia, Missouri for my final semester (that's how long ago it was).

On my last night at my brother's before I flew back to Mizzou after the holidays, my family had dinner at Mimi's Cafe. The restaurant supposedly has French and New Orleans-inspired decor and food, so I thought it would be interesting to eat there. I had the Blackened "Soul" with Shrimp Creole, while my sister-in-law Tintin had the Scallops with Butternut Squash Ravioli. We agreed to divide our portions in two, and exchange halves so we could try both dishes. I ended up liking Tintin's d…