Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Vegan's Remorse

The food scene just got even worse in little ole Harlingen. Our favorite (and one of the very few we can eat at) restaurants, Jerusalem Cafe, has been shuttered for failure to pay rent. I'm not kidding when I say the place has some of the best Mediterranean food around, even for the big cities. Omar makes a strong hummus and baba ganuj, but what really brings home his vegetarian plate are his spiced roasted potatoes and zucchini and onions. He makes a great Israeli hot sauce. I also love his cardamon tea and, of course, Turkish coffee. I am indifferent to his falafel. It's not bad; it's just not exceptional. I hope the restaurant has not met its end. My fingers are crossed for Omar. It's really the small food businesses that make exceptional food, the places run by passionate chefs. Another Harlingen place that has been in peril is Taj Restaurant, only one of two Indian restaurants in the Rio Grande Valley. Taj is superb. It has been closed for months for "renovations." We keep calling and asking when they will open again, and it keeps getting pushed back. Man, the Valley has been going backwards. I would just die for a decent Chinese or Thai place around here. Stone Court Cafe, a Thai restaurant in Harlingen, has gone downhill quickly. They used to make a decent vegan pad Thai, but they changed the recipe. I can't taste any tamarind or lime juice or lemon grass. What's pad Thai without those ingredients at tasting levels? I'm hoping things start shaping up. Maybe I need to be more open minded and try more restaurants. Ugh, I see lots of disappointment on the horizon.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Back Blogging

Has it really been years since I last posted? Wow. How time flies. I guess I just got out of the habit of posting regularly since I started graduate school. I am going into the second year of my PhD program in English literature this fall at Texas Tech, so I have been busy. During the school year, I have to be in Lubbock, which is really hard on the family. The good news is that after I finish my coursework, Texas Tech will allow me to finish my program here. I have so enjoyed being with my wife and son. Every day has simply been a complete joy. We remain committed to our ideals, and our son is a very healthy 10-month-old vegan (see picture). Unfortunately, since the last time I wrote, Naturally's on South Padre Island closed. I can't tell you how sad that makes me. I hope someone else will see the opportunity to create a health food cafe and store on the island. Vegan Freak Radio also stopped broadcasting. I hope Bob and Jenna take it up again once they get their law degrees. Recently, we started having our friend Alan over to our house on Wednesdays for a nice vegan meal. In the future, I will take pictures of our meals and write about what we ate. I have no pictures of today's meal, but we had my recent creation of egg-style sandwiches made with tofu, mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, and red onions. Yummy. Alan brought over some scrumptious sweet potato fries, and Anita made some tasty chocolate pudding pie.