Happy New Year!
I hope you were happy with the way that your 2011 ended/turned out and that you’re moving into 2012 with excitement and energy.
The title of my post is deceiving. While I am going to discuss why 2011 literally went out with a bang, the main purpose of my post is to give you a restaurant review. I’m sure you’re saying – “But Joni, your title doesn’t say anything about a restaurant or food!” Yeah, I know, but the more I tried to incorporate both the restaurant review and the other thing I’m going to talk about, the sillier the title became.
Anyway, onto my story. The reason that 2011 literally went out with a bang was because it did. It also went out with a shake, boom, rattle, and roll — and none of those terms refer to dancing.
Here in Northeast Ohio, 2011 went out with a 4.0 earthquake.
I’ve been nursing a cold for a few days, and yesterday afternoon I was sitting in my living room trying to conserve my energy for a New Year’s Eve party at Jeannette’s family’s house. All of a sudden, I noticed this rumbling sound – but it wasn’t just a rumble – it was like a freight train was driving down our street and a plane was flying overhead at the same time. Pretty soon, the floor was moving and the Christmas tree was swaying, complete with all of the ornaments clanging against each other.
We don’t get earthquakes here. Well, we didn’t use to get earthquakes, particularly not ones with epicenters here. I mean, it’s Ohio. But, in the last 10 months, we’ve had over 11 earthquakes, yesterday’s being the strongest. There’s speculation that the cause may have to do with drilling for gas/oil wells, but nothing has been proven — only time will tell.
So, 2011 went out with a bang, and now 2012 has come in with a howl. It’s currently 34 degrees, it’s snowing, and we have 35+ mile per hour wind gusts.
Now on to my real order of business. The holidays afford a lot of opportunities for parties This past week, Jeannette and I were able to catch up with two friends, Dane and Shanley, at an annual Christmas caroling party. Somehow, the blog came up and we asked what kinds of posts they’d like to see in the future here at Dames Who Dish.
Dane requested that I post a restaurant review, and I’m happy to report that I’ve fulfilled his request.
In addition to an earthquake, I ended my 2011 by sharing some really great Middle Eastern food with my parents at a local restaurant called Zenobia’s.
Zenobia’s has a great variety of Lebanese and Syrian food and their menu is huge, with lots of choices for those who want to embrace the ethnic food with gusto and those who would rather stick to more normal fare.
My Dad and I both had “Lamb on the Rod” served with lettuce salad, rice, and pita bread and my mum had “Chicken on the Rod” served with same sides. My Dad also tried the Raw Lamb Kibbe and we also had “Fried Zucchini” as an appetizer.
The Lamb and Chicken on the Rod were all excellent – basically small kabob chunks of either lamb or chicken, served with rice and an amazing salad of lettuce, mint, and parsley with a garlic, oil, and lemon dressing. I really enjoy lamb, on the rare occasions that I eat it, but I am picky about how it’s cooked, and I’m happy to say that Zenobia’s gets it right. If you didn’t know you were eating lamb, you would think it was beef.
I don’t eat Kibbe, which is a traditional Middle Eastern dish. Usually lamb, kibbe can be served raw or cooked. It is a mixture of ground lamb with wheat germ and other various ingredients. My Dad eats it raw and he said that Zenobia’s is good – but not as good as his grandmother’s – which I still interpret as a positive endorsement.
The zucchini was also amazing, although, I think that name “fried zucchini” is a bit of a misnomer. Our area is inundated with Italian food, so the Middle Eastern version of fried zucchini was a breath of fresh air. It was simply sliced zucchini cooked in olive oil, garlic, and lemon. Excellent.
If you live in this area, I suggest you check Zenobia’s out. (Check out the website for specific location and menu information.)
And if you’re not from around here, check out the ethnic food in your area — Middle Eastern or otherwise.