Birthday Chow Down

So my birthday just came by and, as you can imagine, there was a lot of food involved! Last weekend my parents were out of town so Susan and I decided to head out to the Columbia Diner. We get a lot of good food at a great price. So here’s what we see when we pull up to it.

Blog11Charming, isn’t it? We always like to get a booth, it’s a lot more comfortable and we get a window. Here’s Susan diligently studying the menu.

Blog12She decided to try the Chicken Croquettes. They are giant, breaded croquettes with mashed potatoes and two sides.

Blog13I like their Home Style Fried Chicken. I find they are great at making extraordinarily crisp and crunchy fried foods. Not that I’m defending out fried food choices, but they’re so good!

Blog14It’s so crisp on the outside while being juicy and tender on the inside. I’m never a fan of those bits of shredded lettuce on the plate but I always forget to ask them not to put that in there. I also had the baked beans, as you can see here.

Blog15They are sweet, thick but have great texture to them. I probably wouldn’t eat these straight up, but as a side they are great! I also had the french fries, which they do exceptionally well.

Blog16They are so crisp on the outside to being fluffy on the inside. I can’t help but order them every time I go.

Carabba's02Here’s Susan and I at Carrabba’s on Sunday a few weeks ago, the Sunday before my birthday. We had lunch with my parents and a few friends.

Carabba's03We had some Mussel’s in a white wine butter and garlic sauce. They were bursting with flavor to the extent of possibly being a bit much. The sauce was great for dipping bread in to though!

Carabba's05We did get either soup or salad and I opted for the lentil soup. It was just a little bit on the bland side but a good start to the meal. I wasn’t crazy about getting a bay leaf in my soup but I guess that’s a minor gripe.

Carabba's06Susan went with the Italian Salad. She wasn’t crazy about it but the ingredients were fairly fresh and the dressing wasn’t overwhelming.

Carabba's08My brother decided to go for the Chicken Parmesan.  It doesn’t look big but each of those chicken cutlets were about the size of my hand! How big are my hands? Well, we won’t get into that right now.

Carabba's11My Dad loves his spicy Linguine Pescatore. It’s spicy and full of seafood, some of his favorite things!

Carabba's13This is the kid’s Ravioli dish. As you can see, it has about five ravioli with some fresh sauce. It’s small enough for a child to finish but big enough to fill them.

Carabba's14Susan decided to have the Pasta Weesie, a linguine with mushrooms and shrimp in an Alfredo Sauce.

Carabba's15This is their classic Spaghetti with a sausage meatball. While I wasn’t able to taste it, the smell was heavenly and they seemed to enjoy it very much.

Carabba's12I went on a limb and went on a limb and had the Spiedino di Mare, breaded scallops topped with a lemon butter sauce. Himalayan-1On Monday (my birthday), I got this fruit tart from Dolce Vita. I love getting these from them because the fruit is fresh and delicious and the base is buttery and firm.

Himalayan-2That evening we went to Himalayan Curry & Grill. Here I am suited up for the evening, ready to dig in!

Himalayan-3 Right after sitting down, they gave us these incredibly thin, wafer like chips with sesame seeds and what tasted like anise. There were three dipping sauces to choose from but my favorite was a combination of the three!

Himalayan-4We started out with these Chicken Samosas. The meat was just a little bit dry and would have benefited greatly from some kind of dipping sauce.

Himalayan-6Their Chicken Tikka Masala is one of the top sellers and I can see why. The flavors are deep and well developed and the very rich. Great to go over white rice.

Himalayan-8We also ordered the Coconut Shrimp Curry. The shrimp was good but the sauce seemed to miss a little something to make it pop a little bit more.

Himalayan-9This is their white rice, as you can see it’s not just plain white rice but basic enough to balance out the intense sauces.

Himalayan-7By far the star of the evening was the Naan Garlic bread. Freshly made, buttery and full of flavor. So that was the culinary adventure of my birthday. I apologize for the long post but I hope you enjoyed it!


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