Friday, November 11, 2011

PA and NJ Winners

I'm currently on a plane back to SF (Hooray!) so I wanted to share with you my two favorite meals from my time at "home" before I forgot them. Not that I could - they were both so tasty! :) First up is my go-to Thai restaurant in NJ, Pad Thai.

I actually think this is some of the best Thai food you can get outside of Thailand (yes, I've been there) and they are extremely veg-friendly. Those veggie spring rolls above are light and crispy and come with a slightly sweet and jammy sauce that compliments them perfectly. Everything you could want in a spring roll. But my favorite dish on the menu is something slightly more rich and decadent, the Massaman Curry.

This slightly spicy curry is coconut-milk based and has incredible depth of flavor. The crunchy peanuts sprinkled on top add fun crunch and salty bite. I just love them. Spooned over some brown rice, this dish is something special. FYI, unlike some Thai places, all the items on the vegetarian section of the menu are fish sauce-free. Being the crazy person I am, I still ask every time. They practice restraint and manage not to roll their eyes at me. :)

Just over the river (literally) in PA, is one of my favorite restaurants anywhere: Sprig & Vine. It's a beautiful space in a great location serving up some delicious food, like the salad above. Divine dressing over crispy leaves with just a sprinkling of quinoa. Love it.

Edamame falafel is a must-try at S&V. The black sesame tahini and pickled radishes really bring these bad boys to life, but even alone they are yummy. Warm, soft, spheres of love.

My entree was the "Chicken-of-the-Woods" mushroom dish and it was amazing. It was served up with delica squash, a potato "cake," and lentils which really rounded out the autumnal feel, and the mushrooms themselves were hearty and mouth-watering. Every component paired with its neighbor and I was left with one happy mouth.

Not so happy that I skipped dessert, of course. The chocolate mousse pie is a silky sensational ending to your meal. The deep chocolate of the pie and the cool coffee ice cream are best friends and you will be happy you met them.

If you should find yourself in the area of these two places, I highly recommend a trip to both. Of course, that's not all I ate. I hit up some new-to-me places (and some old faves) in Florida, too, so stay tuned!

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