Last Sunday I was Googling for the best restaurants in Sunnyvale, CA (a.k.a the Silicone Valley) trying to plan a few solo dinners while traveling for work this week. Middle Eastern restaurants were in the top five. I asked Jersey if I liked Middle Eastern food (he knows stuff!) and he said no. I looked at one of the menus and was like “Yes I DO!”.
Middle Eastern food can mean many things (to me at least) … Thai, Indian, Turkish, even Mediterranean (I’ll let the Greeks and the Turks work that out). Food translates differently than the actual region.
Years ago when I was suffering from anxiety-induced stomach issues, Jersey took me to the Thai restaurant near my house and I did not enjoy it. The spices did not fare well with my sensitive stomach and my palate was just not acquainted.
Well that was over 10 years ago and we have done quite a bit of traveling and eating since then. Here’s how I spent my evenings in the infamous Silicone Valley this week indulging in Middle Eastern food.
This is the #1 restaurant on Yelp in Sunnyvale found on the quaint Murphy Avenue. The second I walked into DishDash the ambiance embraced me with Middle Eastern music and decor. I settled right in with my book and my glass of wine.
I started with an order of Dolmas. My first experience with Dolmas (rice and olive oil wrapped in grape leaves) was when a Turkish friend made them for me. They are served with yogurt to dip them in and are an all time favorite of mine. With my hungry mind bigger than stomach, I ordered the vegetarian entree M’shakaleh. It was beautifully presented in a cake like form of rice with layers of mushrooms, grilled eggplant, cauliflower, and tomatoes surrounded by a yogurt-tomato sauce. It was so, so, so good!
I work with a lot of guys from India whom I adore. I received mixed reviews as to whether I should make this stop, which was right across the street from DishDash and walking distance from the office. I was told the lunch buffet was to be avoided but the dinner entrees were good - for “American” Indian food. After perusing the menu I asked the waitress whether I should order the Tandoori Chicken or a vegetarian option (both included cheese!). She highly recommended the Paneer ka Soola consisting of homemade cottage cheese grilled in a spicy curry with green peppers. #OMG. It was delectable. I dipped my naan in the sauce and carried on with my cheese overload.
I ended my indulgence with an attempt to go a bit lighter - from a calorie perspective. If it hasn’t been obvious, I’m dieting. This was my first time in a Thai restaurant since Jersey took me years ago. I ordered the Tom Yam soup with tofu. This soup is spicy with mushrooms, lemongrass, galangal (ginger) onions, cilantro and tomatoes. I couldn’t resist the spring rolls which I do realize are not diet food.
Boots, Boots and Boots
Every year I look forward to pulling my boots on. In the desert there are really only 3-4 months that the weather cooperates with my boot obsession. November to February - if we are lucky. This year I have veered off my biker boot path to crisscross the style map.
The top row of boots is one boot by Calvin Klein called the Bethany Convertible. It’s my first pair of sexy black boots in a couple years that can be worn three different ways. Giving me three new pairs - all for one price. Brilliant.
I haven’t owned a pair of Doc Martens in years. Their comeback makes me relive the day over 10 years ago when I hastily donated my three pair to Goodwill . To make up for rash decisions I’m going loud with this Victorian Floral pair and hope I don’t look out of place during the holidays in New York City.
I wanted some gray boots to go with a new sweater and a new purse I’ve been contemplating. These by Steve Madden are guilt free - they are faux leather and inexpensive. These are real knee highs which is a bit new for me.
Everyone hates my Sketcher high tops, except for the TSA woman this week at the airport. These are hands down my favorite shoe-boot. I love the way they look with skinny jeans and I can dress them up or go casual. I should also mention the Velcro makes an easy on-off experience at the airport. I only have them in black but the tan is on my radar.
“Nobody ever says to men, ‘How can you be a Congressman and a father?’” — Patricia Schroeder