Matt visited France once, back when he first went to college. He claims that the food wasn't very good in France, and that he subsisted on baguettes and sandwiches. I scoffed at his lack of adventuresome eating. After all, I read My Life in France by the incomparable Julia Child, and loved the idea of traveling to France and eating fabulous meals and drinking fabulous wine and becoming a Cuisine Connoisseur.
A few weeks ago, HEB was selling mussels for $1.44. Maybe it wasn't a good idea to purchase seafood for so little, but I'd never tried mussels and the price was right. I stuck them in the freezer and waited for an opportune time to make them. That time ... was Tuesday.
I found a French recipe for Mussels a la Mariniere and followed it to a T (with the exception that my mussels came in a bag, and not fresh from the sea). I sauteed, simmered and reduced with the best of them. The sauce smelled delicious, but I always did love Roma tomatoes and green onions. I promise it wasn't as bad as this picture looks.
The mussels went in, and once they had steamed open, I scooped a few out into bowls for myself and my awesome fiancé, who always kindly tried my food experiments with an open mind.
(above three photos personal)
You guys, once you open the shell, mussels look gross. Kind of like how I imagine a spleen looks. They tasted pretty fishy too. I didn't think they were awful, probably because of the sauce, but it was hard to get past the way they looked. Matt hated it. He took one bite, tried not to say anything to hurt my feelings, but it was all over. I told him to pick a restaurant and we'd go eat for real, and that's how we wound up at Souper Salad.
The first time I remember thinking about falafel was from that one episode of Friends where Rachel's sister comes into town and can't remember who Ross is, and asks him if he sold her a falafel earlier that day. I didn't know what falafel was at the time, but I figured if New Yorkers ate it, then I wanted to also. I've wanted to live in New York for a very long time, and falafel was going to help me get there, or something.
Now, I don't live in the coolest town ever or anything, so I was surprised to find out that we have a gourmet food truck. This being Lent and all, Fridays are meat-free for us (because Matt says so), and when the truck's location popped up on my Facebook feed and announced today's vegetarian special, I asked Matt to join me for lunch.
This is the same thing I got. Thank goodness someone who worked there took a picture, because I forgot to in my haste to scarf it down. (source)
You guys, falafel is DELICIOUS. It came with tomatoes, spring lettuce, this really yummy sauce, all wrapped up in a thick tortilla. I want to eat it every day.
Do I get to be a New Yorker now?