Saturday, August 18, 2012

Lunch at Sahara

One of the great things about being a vegan living in a city is that you can almost always find something to eat.  And since my life inevitably revolves around food, this is an important consideration for me whenever I set out into the world.  (and just to be safe, packing a Larabar or a bag full of trail mix is an essential "emergency kit" whenever I travel)

So after taking my mom on a whirlwind tour of New Haven the other day, we were both famished and in search of a late afternoon lunch.  It was 2:30, a time when most restaurants close in order to prep for the dinner crowd, so it was tough finding any open doors.  My first choice was La Libela which has a fabulous all you can eat lunch buffet with plenty of vegan items and lots of spongy injera, but we missed it by 30 minutes.  Feeling somewhat let down though not completely defeated, we turned our sights just two doors down to Sahara Mediterranean, a little oasis specializing in Middle Eastern cuisine that also serves pizza.

It turned out to be the perfect choice.  I ordered their vegetable soup to start.  I've had it here before, and it's loaded with huge chunks of veggies with a broth that has a bright, lemony note.  That's what I had been looking forward to, but on this occasion there was more spice than citrusy tang.

We shared a couple of entrees:  Dolmas, plump grape leaves stuffed with a tight mixture of rice, onion, garlic, and mint, and the Middle Eastern Specialty Combo with falafel, hummus, and babaganoush.  Both came with a small garden salad and warm pita.

This was a perfectly refreshing pick-me-up after a long day in and around the city. We both left feeling satisfied, but not stuffed, with the garlicky flavors lingering in a comforting sort of way.

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