The Orient in Greensboro
This week I had already decided that I was going to make Sesame Ginger Black Rice (see below), yet didn't know what else I was going to make or what I would write about. Yesterday, it was coming down to the wire, and I was still kind of at a loss. Enter, The Universe to the rescue! My son and I were helping with the kirtan at the Summer Solstice Festival in Greensboro. He wasn't thrilled about going in the first place, and after we got thoroughly drenched in one of those summer-festival-targeting-thunderstorms, he was very, extremely, unthrilled. Fortunately for me, I was able to win back Cool Mommy points and cut the whining short by offering him a spare pair of clothes and a trip to Boba House for dinner.
If you haven't been to Boba House yet, your life is definitely missing something. They advertise themselves as "THE Vegetarian Restaurant of the Triad." I have to wholeheartedly agree with that self-proclamation. Sadly, they have no competition that I know of. Purely vegetarian restaurants are few and far between in this part of the country (ask me sometime about my egg-noodle outrage). In fact I can only think of one such restaurant in Chapel Hill. Happy cow.net, correct me if I am wrong. (Happy Cow says, "No, Durham has one vegan restaurant, and Morrisville has two vegetarian ones.") So from a numbers standpoint, they are THE restaurant by default. That being said, Boba House is also a BANGIN' restaurant!
You know that place that is not
that great, but you drag yourself
there anyway because you're a
vegetarian and really have
nowhere else to eat? Well, this is
not that place. The food here is
truly good. The menu is largely
Asian with a whole lotta soy-
based fake meats. You can get
every kind of "meat" added to
your dish of choice, and they
even have house specialties like
blackened "tuna." This is great
for taking out your omnivorous
friends and family, as there is plenty of variety on the menu and the atmosphere is comparable to any other nice sit-down restaurant.
We had a really hard time deciding which appetizer to order, so we opted for the sampler. It was still a nail-biting decision which three appetizers to narrow it down to. In the end I passed over the more exotic sounding ones (like drumsticks - "chicken" wrapped around a piece of sugar cane that comes with a pineapple dipping sauce) for more basic ones that I was certain my son would eat. And did he eat! I had to be very assertive to get my fair share of the plate. The before and after pics:
The mood lighting is hip and romantic (meaning it's a little dim), and since photography is not my forte, the pics are not the best. (I am sure the people next to me thought I was weird for photographing all my food.) As you can see, the appetizers were gorgeously presented and so tasty that they didn't live to see the next ten minutes. We ordered several other wonderful things which I am running out of time to share with you. I will just leave you with this last thought: If you have to go anywhere west of Burlington, I urge you to make a stop at Boba House part of your trip. The service is as delicious as the food. Our waitress was super friendly, and the owner was so attentive that she came over to check on us because she noticed us looking around at the sound of a gigantic ice crusher/blender that they use to make the Boba Teas. She just wanted to make sure that we didn't need something. Aww, how sweet!
The soup that I pray that I can imitate.
Our grain choices will be brown rice and Sesame Ginger Black Rice. This rice is the recipe that started it all. I found it on the Village Harvest bag for the rice, and decided I just had to make it. Well, then I had to find a soup to go with it. One thing led to another, and so on... At any rate, I think you all will love the black rice. It is filled with nutrition and has a slightly nutty flavor.
This Week's Menu:
Entree #1 - Veggie Glass Noodle Soup. One of the AH-mazing dishes that we ordered last night was a soup called "Poultry" in Motion. It was a HUGE serving of a fresh, light, thoroughly yummy soup made with two kinds of mushrooms, carrots, sno peas, cilantro, bean curd "glass noodles," and thin slices of "chicken," all floating in a knock-out veggie broth. I asked the waitress what kind of broth they use. They make it in-house from all the broccoli stems, carrot tops, and other vegetable cuttings generated when they prep their fresh, local produce. Another score for Boba House! I love that they have a commitment to buying locally & minimizing waste. *Just a note: Personally I am not always such a big fan of fake meat products. I have been vegetarian for quite a long time and have really grown unaccustomed to the taste and texture of meat, so I will be substituting tofu for the "chicken" in this recipe. *GF
Entree #2 - Broccoli & Tofu Pad Thai with Peanut Sauce. Yesterday I received a request for a return of this dish, even though we just made it last month. Because I am a sucker for requests and because I just love themes, I couldn't resist. With broccoli, red pepper, carrot, and baked tofu cubes, this stir fry is a burst of color and nutrition. Served over Rice Pad Thai noodles with a to-die-for peanut sauce (at least it was last time), this dish will be calling you for leftovers the next day. Hopefully those little Asian grandmother-fairies of the kitchen will be with us, so that we can recreate it properly. I really debated about offering two dishes with noodles in the same menu, but in my son's world at least, there is no such thing as too many noodles. *GF
Entree #3 - Yellow Split Mung and Spinach. This recipe comes from one of my favorite foodies, Kurma Das. It originally comes from Yamuna Devi's epic, Cooking for Lord Krishna. She has this to say, "Moong, North India's most popular dal, was a great favorite of my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada. It is easy to digest and has a good flavor and high vitamin content. The spinach, preferably fresh, enhances the texture and marbled color of this power-packed dal soup, and the fried spices poured in at the end of the cooking add lashings of flavor. " If you are in the mood to surf the internet, check out this 4-minute video of Yamuna Devi doing a cooking demo on Pineapple Rings with Mint and Lime juice. Oooh! *GF, soy-free
Samosa Potato Cakes (Aloo Tikki) - $3. I had found this recipe and decided to make it before going Asian in my theme. So then I debated about making raw spring rolls and dipping sauce instead, just to be consistent. I wasn't really feeling it, though. I will make those for you another time. Promise. For some reason, I just got really excited about these savory potato snacks. Maybe it is because Yamuna Devi also has several recipes for Aloo Tikki in her cookbooks. Maybe it is because you can never go wrong with mashed potatoes. Maybe it is because I love cilantro chutney and could make it with my eyes mostly closed. Whatever the reason, I am sure these will prove themselves to be little round patties of happiness. *GF, soy-free
Peach Frozen "Yogurt" - $4 I was looking for a peach dessert recipe since it is the time of year when peaches are everywhere. At Whole Foods the other day a woman was giving out samples of a peach compote/pie filling that went with something that had eggs in it. I passed on the "whatever the egg thing was" and asked for the peaches by themselves. Heavenly! So I thought to do something wonderful like that for you all. Well, of all the beautiful, tasty peach recipes that I found out here in Web Wonder World, this was the only one that was also gluten-free. I am sure that there are other recipes lurking out there, just waiting to be discovered. I just haven't found them yet. If you have one, please pass it on. And in the meantime, settle in for some homemade frozen summer bliss.*GF, soy-free
We look forward to serving you!