Thursday, September 9, 2010

Wine 'n' Diner

I was out in the South End last week, exploring that little section of Delaware Ave that seems to be growing an interesting business district.  It all started with Cissy's Shoe Fetish...a story for another day.

So as it got to be lunch time the Wine 'n' Diner caught my eye.  I am so glad that someone paid attention to that interesting space after Avenue A left earlier this year.  They funkified it, and I like the feel.  The early brunch crowd was leaving just as I came in.

I took a pass on the sweet potato hash special and decided to order the Tijuana burger.  I enjoyed finding this sauce on the table:

The burger comes with a black bean guacamole and bacon.  I set the bacon aside because I just couldn't wrap my head around it and I spread some of this banana sauce on the bottom of the potato bun.

Complete burger yum:

The chips are very heavy, so I could only get through about a fourth of them.  The potato bun added a very interesting light touch and was grilled to a perfect amount of crispiness.  It was definitely the most interesting and tasty burger I have had in a restaurant in a very long time.

The staff was very friendly and efficient.

I must say that along with just about every mid-range restaurant in the Capital Region, Wine 'n' Diner commits the sin of spraying nasty smelling cleaner onto the tables to clean them.  When you enter a restaurant just after many tables have emptied this spells disaster.

Do the owners just hate us or what?  I have yet to figure out how they think getting gassed with cleaner fumes makes us feel.

Oh, yeah...they don't think about it.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Figs and nuts salad

Last night I wanted to use my fabulous fresh figs from Cardona's and I didn't have any goat cheese.  I've never tried to just throw figs into a salad all by themselves.  But there's a first time for everything.  I had green leaf lettuce, which is mild.  So with two rather mild ingredients I knew I had to do something fairly strong for the dressing.

I started with walnut oil and added salt and pepper.  I went to my cabinet for something fruit flavored and pulled out a nice bottle of Turkish blackberry syrup.  I finished with apple cider vinegar to bring in a layer of tartness and whisked everything together.

I dizzled the vinaigrette over the lettuce leaves, tossed in the sliced fresh figs and chopped some mixed nuts for a nice salty flavor and nut texture.  I sprinkled them over the top of everything.

I only thought of taking a photo afterwards   8^(