Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Golden Tajine

 In general I prefer good old American cooking ... the basics, nothing fancy, nothing too spicy, too outlandish. Tom has been expanding my culinary horizons these past two years, though. We've had Indian cuisine a couple of times, Oriental, Mexican (which I already loved) and perhaps a small sampling of another nationality or two.

 Yesterday Tom suggested Mediterranean - for a second time. The first time I remember opting out. I must have been hungry for something a little more standard so we passed on a Northside restaurant. Yesterday he tired again ... and I bit. Mostly I wanted to see the building. But more about that later.

We went to The Golden Tajine on Spring Grove Avenue not far from Tom's apartment.

 We perused the menu and each chose the same thing: a Pita sandwich called a Med Wrap that is considered vegan. It included hummus, Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, onions, cucumbers and olive oil. While we waited (not long at all), Tom ordered a couple of more items: Mediterranean potatoes (seasoned French Fries) and Baba Ghanoush.

Baba Ghanoush

 This dish comes with warmed, sliced Pita bread. It is an eggplant dip with olive oil and cumin and has a very unique (and delicious) smoky flavor. I think I could make a meal of nothing more than this. Our waitress said it was her favorite.

Mediterranean Fries with Feta Cheese

 Though standard French Fries beneath, the season sprinkled on and the chunks of Feta cheese made this dish something special. The fries were crispy on the outside and soft and baked potato-like on the inside.

Med Wrap

 Tom and I each ordered a Med Wrap (descried above). It was a handful and could have only been improved by the inclusion of a fork. This dish is also spicy though we chose the "medium" heat version.

 This is a place I'd willingly return to. For my taste, it's exotic enough to offer something quite different and yet not so far out to seem absolutely foreign.

 On the way out, I admired the building ...

 According to Dann Woellert author of Cincinnati's Northside Neighborhood, this building was originally the Liberty Theater. You can see some of the original pediment in this shot. Built in 1909, the word Liberty was placed there with red, white and blue lights illuminating the word.

 There was a live piano accompaniment to the silent pictures of the era - by William H Schmitt no less - "and a vaudeville show on Friday nights" according to Woellert. The Liberty closed in 1929 and has since housed various restaurants.

 The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

 Woellert's fine book is available from Arcadia Publishing.

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