Last week I went out with my favorite mohawk boy to celebrate his nomination for a Diana Jones Award! Congrats, Jared!! He designed a fantastic game... send out good vibes that he'll win. Ok, I haven't played it yet, but the concept seems fantastic... anyone wanna come to a game night??
We decided to head to Ali's Kebab Cafe in my neighborhood. We were greeted by Ali, the owner and chef. An adorably charming and wonderful man, I was instantly in love with Mr. Ali. I mean... look at that face. I would totally hang out with him. Why did I not get my picture WITH him?? I'll have to go back I guess :)
The restaurant has no menus. Ali simply finds out what kind of food you like, what kind of food you hate, what kind of food you're allergic to, and what kind of food you're willing to be subject to. We started with a warm beet salad and lamb cheek. Both were to die for delicious. I told Ali that I wanted something safe but that I was ready, willing, and able to get adventurous by eating off Jared's plate. I was served chicken on a bed of lentils cooked in what I can only imagine was a bit of heaven. Jared was served brains, not to be confused with sweetbreads, mixed with bell peppers and a whole lot of perfection.
I know if you know me well, you're sitting in amazement either at the fact that I ate brains or the fact that I ate with a boy at all. But Jared hasn't steered me wrong yet on the whole food sitch, so I'm down with the exploration. I can't say I LOVED the brains, but I definitely thought it was good. Next time we go back, we're calling ahead and ordering cow's udder. It's how we do (ok, it's how he does and I go along for the story). Maybe I'll try something vegetarian, or maybe some pork.
I did some online research for this post, which some of you will be proud to know I'm making progress in (right, Suzz?) and found this video from Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" from 2007. He eats at Ali's and interviews him. Gosh, I love this neighborhood.
As Ali told us the other night, "I don't judge you. You don't judge me. And we don't judge the food." Not 100% sure what he meant, but feeling as though I'd been given advice from a sage, I share with you, gentle readers.