No Sharing in Heaven
Of the many, or at least the several, benefits of being in a committed relationship, surely the most vital is being socially approved to eat off each other’s plates. Sharing both joy and nourishment — such a beautiful expression of pure love. You can imagine Chow, Baby’s heartbreak the other night at lovely Chadra Mezza & Grill (1622 Park Place Av.) when, for the first time after nearly 1,000 harmonious meals together, the beloved body-blocked Chow, Baby’s inquisitive fork with a snarled “Get your own.” Get your own? Get your own? Ow.
The relationship will survive, probably, but the appropriately named Heavenly Chicken ($12.95) was gone in a flash, with Chow, Baby trying to convince itself it didn’t really want more than two hard-won bites anyway. The dish is kind of rich, after all, with a smear of cream cheese binding sautéed spinach and a bushel of bacon bits to a huge grilled chicken breast, and who needs made-to-order mushroom alfredo sauce, anyway? Chow, Baby’s bruised heart and empty stomach were mended by sparkling-fresh feta salad ($6.25); housemade hummus ($4.95) that was almost too garlicky, if such is possible, and a picture-pretty plate of ablama ($9.25), ground-sirloin-stuffed yellow squash steeped in mild tomato sauce, with a side of pilaf for every-last-drop absorption. Walnut baklava ($3.99) was a gooey happy ending. Chadra just opened and has a limited menu for January; February promises the full-meal deal, including a lamb buffet ($15.95) on Friday nights.
The man to thank for this largesse is Chadra’s perfectionist owner/chef Nehme Elbitar, who opened Café Chadra (1704 Galveston Av.), famed for its Mediterranean lunch buffet, about six years ago and pretty much ever since has been aspiring to open a second, finer-dining Lebanese restaurant. With Chadra Mezza & Grill, Nehme’s and Chow, Baby’s dream has come true. Of course, the beloved’s dream won’t, at least not tonight. You want a happy ending? Get your own.
Padded Thai Menu
The problem at Thai Thippawan (461 Harwood Rd., Hurst) — well, other than being so wicked-harshly lit you want to confess to something — is that the menu is too big, everything looks too good, and the prices are too low to rule anything out. It’s not for the indecisive. No problem for Chow, Baby, who laughs at the concept of over-ordering. (You know how some people have a beer fridge in their garage? Chow, Baby has a leftovers fridge. Seriously.)
We (Chow, Baby’s lunch date, not the beloved, who is grounded) over-ordered away, to the point where we actually had to move to a larger table to have room for all the plates. Off to a weak start: Steamed dumplings ($5.95) were flavorsome but didn’t taste freshmade; summer rolls with chicken ($2.50) were acceptable, nothing special. The omigods kicked in with the awe-inspiring pineapple-and-shrimp fried rice ($7.95) and continued through dazzling noodle dishes, piquant curries, and classic Thai dishes (most $5.95-$9.95, with meat, seafood, tofu, or vegetables). Stunningest of the stunning: Thai garlic salmon (also the most expensive, at $12.95), a huge, gloriously seared, flaky fillet rubbed with cilantro-garlic mush.
If you’re one of those weirdos who worries about overeating or likes cushy chairs, this is not the place for you. But if you like great, well-priced Thai food, Chow, Baby will save you a seat at the big table.
Contact Chow, Baby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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