Many of my co-workers have refined pallets. They live inside the city, eat at all the new restaurants and love tasting all kinds of food. I’m that girl who is a little more hesitant when it comes to trying new things. It’s not that I’m not open, but my fear of anything with mayonnaise or ranch dressing causes me to interrogate the wait staff, especially when it comes to restaurants I haven’t visited before.
As I’ve said before, James and I aren’t really eater-outers. We do venture out as a treat for special occasions, but even then, we frequently come to an agreement that we could have cooked the meal better ourselves. (But I do enjoy going out to eat with girlfriends every so often. It gives me a chance to try new things and enjoy someone else catering cooking for me.)
The great thing about working off North Druid Hills is that I’m in the heart of international food territory, and my co-workers have pushed me out of my comfort zone to try cuisines I would have never tried on my own. Not all of these experiences have been great, but they’ve definitely helped me to be more open-minded about food.
Roughly a year and a half ago, they talked me into trying India food. I can’t even remember the restaurant we dined at, but I do remember that I left hungry, trying all six dishes on my plate but not liking any of them. Since that trip, if we ever brainstorm where to go for lunch, I always say, “Anything but Indian.”
But on Thursday, we celebrated the birthdays of two of my co-workers, the biggest foodies in the group. Since we’re celebrating their big days, it only makes sense that they get to choose the restaurant. I was secretly gunning for Violette’s, a quaint French restaurant that serves amazing Boeuf Bourguignon. Hello meat! But, I was given a week’s notice that the celebratory restaurant of choice was Cafe Bombay. I mustered up my courage, slapped on a smile and gave myself a daily pep talk of ‘you can do it.’
The morning of their birthday lunch, I considered packing my own lunch as a back up in case I didn’t like anything again. But gave my self a verbal slap on the wrist and faced the day with an open mind.
At noon, we headed over to celebrate, and, to be honest, I was a little overwhelmed with the three buffets. The first was full of rice and breads. The second had salad and lots of white sauces that reminded me of the dreaded ranch dressing. But the third buffet table was mainly meat, and I made a bee-line for it as I finally let out a sigh of relief. I had found my calling. I sampled Chicken Tikki Masala, Chicken 65 with sautéed veggies, some goat dish and creamed spinach. Chicken Tikki Masala was the clear winner, and I went back for seconds.
I don’t think Indian food will ever be a top choice for me, but now, at least I know I can find something I like to eat at Indian restaurants.
This birthday lunch gave me an excuse to experiment by making a gluten-free cake. I came across a recipe for a Foolproof Gluten-Free Cake, and decided to adapt it a bit to my liking. I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out. It was so good that I could easily choose this over normal chocolate cake, even the glutenous Triple Chocolate Cake I featured in my first-ever blog post.
Iced Chocolate Bundt Cake
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup palm sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- 5 tbsp butter, softened
- 1/3 cup palm sugar
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup cocoa
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
2. In medium mixing bowl, blend butter and palm sugar.