Thursday, November 11, 2010
Psychedelic IONic Lunch
Today's lunch felt like a cross between a homecoming and a visit with a long-lost friend, in more ways than one. I used to work at Wesleyan University and would walk to It's Only Natural (ION) restaurant on Main Street in Middletown at least once a week, either for lunch or just to grab one of their hefty and homey Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, which I would eat on the walk back to the office. Then after I left that job, I decided I missed the place so much that I needed to work there. That was about eight years ago.
I think it's been about a year since I've visited, so I was happy to go there for lunch today. Some things have changed, some have stayed the same. Most importantly, their famous sweet potato fries are still on the menu and are just as crispy and tender as ever, albeit in a less generous portion size.
(oh wait, I think a few disappeared before I could get my camera out)
Normally I order something from the Specials menu, but the Moroccan Chickpea Stew didn't tempt me today, so I opted for my standby of Cajun Tempeh with Brown Rice and Sauteed Greens. It was a treat to be able to order tempeh at a restaurant since I rarely make it at home. The two slices, looking kinda lonely on the platter, were surprisingly filling.
I took a bathroom break to contemplate dessert, and when I came back, this strange message appeared on the table. Could it have been to cajole me into ordering a decadent baked good, or something more ominous?
I pondered this mystery, and almost fell into the devious trap when I saw Coconut Cake on the menu, but decided that if I ate anything else I'd need to take a nap. Next time... perhaps after a night of skating.
After lunch I perused a couple of used book stores for old cookbooks. I found a really cute little recipe pamphlet put out by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, copyright 1957. It was well worth the $1 pricetag.
How can you go wrong with graphics like this? Makes me want to brew a fresh pot of coffee and dig into a deep-dish pie with that cheeky illustrator (and I don't even drink coffee).
But the big find of the day was a 7" single by happy giant, the band I was in 20 years ago. So yeah, that little 45RPM has been sitting in the dusty record bin of the Buttonwood Tree, a used book store/performance space where I've also played some shows, since 1993. Freaky. I'd buy that for a dollar. (and I did)