Sunday, February 13, 2011

New Eats and a New Word

Do you know what sriracha is? I didn't until this weekend.

On Saturday, Jolyon and I ventured to a cafe called Yellow Dog Eats, a unique eatery with a country store appeal, featuring an assortment of sandwiches, salads, and some bbq. I LOVE places like this: imaginative establishments tucked away in the Orlando netherlands, away from the tourist scene - the place you'd find only because so-and-so heard about it and suggested you check it out.

I have a habit of not reading the full list of ingredients when I order something new. The Downward Dog (legit name of a sandwich; see menu here) sounded delicious. Portabello mushrooms? Water chestnuts? Peanuts? Yes please! I glossed over the rest of the ingredients, my eyes lingering on sriracha just long enough for my brain to conclude it didn't know what it was, but didn't care enough to ask.

The stylishly tatooed woman at the counter stalled in taking our order, insisting that she "get to know as much as possible about us in the next fine minutes". She asked if we were Buddists. (No.) Mormon? (No.) Nerds? (It's that obvious?) She asked where we were from and what we do for a living. Then she asked us to give her a list of labels we felt defined us. The first thing that I thought of was my Myers-Briggs label ENFJ, so I told her that. She thought that was hysterical - apparently that wasn't the type of label people often give. Finally, she took our order.

While waiting for our lunch to be prepared, we wandered around the store, eyeing homemade wine, dog treats, and jewelry. My eyes darted from one interesting artifact to the next, and I immediately made mental lists of the people I knew would love this establishment.

The weather was a perfect 68 degrees, so we opted to sit out back on their patio. I think Jolyon was expecting something a little more "restauranty", but the outdoor ambiance didn't surprise me at all.
When our food was ready (albeit a tad longer than I normally like to wait for a sandwich), I was so hungry that I took a few bites far too quickly. And then... FIRE. OHMYGOD my tastebuds were burning off. Can't breathe! What the hell had I just ordered? I gulped down some water and ate half the bag of pita chips. And coughed a lot. After attempting to compose myself, I snatched a lone menu off the table and scanned the list of ingredients again.

This time I thought long and hard about this so-called sriracha. Definitely not an inncocent bean sprout or something similar. So, I did the next logical thing that anyone with a smartphone would do.

I googled it.

Of course. Thai hot sauce. Naturally.

I don't deal well with spices. Mild salsa is usually too much for me, and the tamest sauce at Tijuana Flats (the one with the smiley face) is almost too spicey for my tastes. Needless to say, I couldn't finish my sandwich.

But at least I can now add a new word to my cooking vocabulary, and a cool (assuming the other items are, temperature-wise) restaurant to my conquests.