Double Booked

December 9, 2011 § 10 Comments

Date 1

I love to roam the city visiting the beautiful food markets alone.

[Okay, this is a lie. I would much rather roam with my foodie friends but alas they are few flights away.]

[Another side note: The food markets are not the grocery stores. They are small stands set up inside some kind of enclosure. Moving on…]

So off I went a few Saturdays ago to one of my favorite markets.

I love to soak in the shiny fruits and sometimes freakishly large fresh vegetables.

At this market you can buy anything and everything – bread straight from the oven – an entire Octopus [almost] straight from the sea.

My time is spent looking… not buying.

The cherries are perfectly shiny and very enticing but…

18 Euros!?

The dates are so plump and basically oozing with sweet syrup but…

22 Euros!?

My bank roll does not support such luxuries. But my eyes sure love the sites.


Date 2 was with my Mr.

The Spaniard tried to take me to this restaurant when I visited him 2 summers ago. Before I moved to Madrid. However, that was in August. And we all know what happens in August. City Shutdown.

I loved the ambiance inside the restaurant. It was eclectic and cozy without being weird and eccentric. [How’s that for decor description.]

We shared a lentil dish to start. Lentils and mushrooms served over spinach. It was delicious.

For my main course I had what was described on the menu as “vegetable rolls.” Looks like your typical sushi and summer roll to me. But both rolls were served with a flavorful pesto sauce inside. Italian? Asian? It was very tasty.

Overall lunch was very good – but I have had better food in Spain. The whole “vegetarian” thing is relatively new in this country. I enjoyed my meal immensely though will admit the memories of my exquisite London cuisine probably tainted my palette.

Isla del Tesoro gets an A for effort. I will return.

Saturdays are the best – especially when you’re double booked.


A long London weekend: Story #4

November 18, 2011 § 15 Comments

Story #4

When I get to heaven, the chef angels will serve this.

Once upon a time there was a vegetable loving American who found herself living in the country of ham. Lots and lots of ham.

She often found herself in food ruts. Missing the abundance and ease of food shopping in the U.S. and longing for creative dining experiences. This girl was thrilled for London for many reasons… but admittedly near the top of the list were the culinary delights she knew she would find.

“There has to be more than scones and tea, right?”


The girl is a creature of habit and routine. When she fell in love with Saf Restaurant there was no turning back.

Dinner was enjoyed at Saf on back to back nights. She had the happiest mouth in all the world.

From their website:

Established over the last decade,
Saf has developed a philosophy
committed to providing a healthy
lifestyle using nutritious plant-
based ingredients. With our services and products, we
aim to introduce a new
sense of well being
to a diverse range
of customers.

Saf is an acronym for
Simply Authentic Food,
it also means ‘Pure’
in Turkish.

Night 1:

Nachos to start

House made corn nachos, guacamole, tomato salsa, pineapple salsa and spring onion

Farinata Rustica for the girl

Slow roasted seasonal vegetables and mushrooms served in a home-made chickpea crepe topped with a tarragon aioli

Summer Risotto for the mom

Dessert Platter

Mini portions of Ganache Torte,Berry Cheesecake Tiramisu and scoop of ice cream. Great to share.

Night 2:

Un-pictured yet Oh-so-delicious!

Dolmades to start

Vine leaves stuffed with parsnip rice, cumin and cinnamon served with tzatziki

Pad Thai for the girl

Courgette Noodles, mung bean and lentil sprouts, cherry tomatoes, coriander and fresh chilli tossed in chipotle-almond sauce and served with lime and nori

Sun-Dried Tomato and Nut Cheese Wrap for the mom

Caramelised onion, cashew cheese and quinoa with mixed salad and green mustard dressing


Enjoyed sprawled out on our hotel beds straight from Harrods Food Halls.

The girl could have stayed in London for weeks working her way through the Saf menu.

And a note to any friend or family that will travel to meet her in London: Saf is already on the agenda. It is also the dinner choice in heaven. Thank you chef angels.

the Husband and Wife go to Ethiopia

October 24, 2011 § 26 Comments

Okay, not literally.

Saturday was date day. The first date day with our new status.

Granada, Spain – Alhambra

Husband & Wife. Serious.

But the serious question was where would our Saturday outing take us?

We decided on lunch and a movie. [Just like the American dinner and a movie. Lunch is the larger more leisurely meal.]

The movie was decided. Contagion. [All I needed. One more reason to wash my hands a million and one times a day.]

But the meal? This was the question. We narrowed it down to 2 options. A rave reviewed vegetarian restaurant that we have been meaning to try for over a year [seriously!] or an Ethiopian restaurant.

After much debate. [Much!] We went to Ethiopia!

Ethiopia is delicious.

Looks like a standard salad. But hidden inside are small Ethiopian gems. Tiny chili peppers that will melt your mouth off. Eater beware!

And the real reason you go to Ethiopia…

The squishy bread made of teff topped with all kinds of goodies. Spinach, lentils, vegetables, cabbage, garbanzos…

Two-thumbs up [or two hands full of food shoving in face] for the Ethiopian.

Also, it must be said… top notch service! Something never taken for granted in Madrid.

It was a lovely afternoon for pre-movie drinks outside. [Before I knew not to touch any public surface.]

Side Note: All movies that make it to Spain come out at least 1-2 months after the States. We aren’t that behind.


Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

What was the highlight of yours?

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