Eat-out kinda day

While reviewing some past photos, I realized that a couple of restaurants  meals I have documented with my camera have gone unmentioned in this blog.

Our last meal in D.C. occurred at a cute Italian restaurant on a side street in the Georgetown area called Paper Moon.  We had seen Georgetown the first time we arrived in D.C. while driving to Brad’s Great Aunt’s condo for happy hour and decided we wanted to swing by before we left town.  We parked on a side street, where there were several restaurants, then looked at a few menus posted outside to determine where we wanted to have lunch.

I was excited to see mussels and smoked Salmon carpaccio on their lunch menu.  Luckily for me, Brad suggested ordering mussles as our appetizer.  I always order mussels at restaurants because I just love them, even though they always take up most of the table.

My bread plate

Mussels…yum.  If you have ever had a bad mussel, you know that they are very bad.  Bad mussels have an extremely fishy taste to them.  The first time I had them (at a chain Italian restaurant whose name will fail to be mentioned), I as almost ruined for life.  Thank goodness I tried them again and realized that they way I had them originally is not how their meant to be eaten.

The broth was so delicious and buttery that Brad and I sopped up most of it with the leftover shalots with our bread.

The waiter told me that the salmon carpaccio was very small and would not be enough for lunch.  I’m so glad I didn’t listen to him, because with the bread and the mussels, it was plenty.

Brad ordered ravioli, which was filled with ground beef.  Don’t get me wrong, I love ravioli, but beef ravioli always tastes like Chef Boyardee to me.  I’d rather have mushroom or lobster ravioli any day.

On the way home, I wanted something quick, but not fast food.  We stopped at one of my old college haunts, Cosmic Cantina.  But instead of dropping by the one on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, we went to the one at our rival school, Duke University, in Durham, NC because it was on our way home.

Cosmic Cantina is a really unique restaurant that specializes in made-to-order organic Mexican food.  They have three locations: Durham and Chapel Hill, NC and New York City.  Weird huh?  The Durham and Chapel Hill location are both really small and up until about three years ago, the one in Chapel Hill was a total dive.  I’ve been told the one in NY looks exactly the same.

The Durham menu is different from the Chapel Hill menu.  I got the deluxe grilled vegetarian burrito, which I had never had before.  Deluxe means that you get guac and sour cream.  I ate half of this and savored the rest for lunch at work the following day.

Cosmic was everything I remembered: delicious.  I’m not sure if it is just nostalgia that makes it so delicious, but Cosmic Cantina is one of my favorite places of all time.

Note: the website for Cosmic Cantina is for the East Village, NY location only.  So the menu at both of the NC locations will be somewhat different.



Filed under Restaurants

3 responses to “Eat-out kinda day

  1. mmmm, that Cosmic Cantina place sounds exactly like my favorite restaurant chain in NJ, Surf Taco. Fresh, healthy, made-to-order Mexican food is my favorite!

  2. Mussels have always scared me – too many horror stories from people who’ve gotten sick. I’m going to look for someplace local that has good ones – any recommendations in the LA/outer LA area?

    • I have actually never gotten sick. Bad mussels just taste horrible. Unfortunately I’ve never been to the LA area, just Northern California. Your safest bet is somewhere near the coast. If you’re hesitant, you should ask your waiter where the mussels come from. I really think the fresher they are, the better they taste. The best mussels I ever had was at S.N.O.B (Slightly North of Broad) in Charleston, SC. My other suggestion is do not go to a chain restaurant for mussels. I had a second bad experience with a chain here in Charlotte, that I know exists in CA too.

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