Saturday, April 23, 2005

Restaurant Rave

We were in Dearborn yesterday taking the critters to ride Thomas the Tank Engine at Greenfield Village. The grandparents got together and gave us a membership for the year so it wasn't the huge expense it could have been sans membership. Brian and I are happy to take the kids to Greenfield Village and/or the Henry Ford Museum pretty much any time because it means we have an excuse to eat at one of our favorite restaurants located near the museum: Cedarland. I haven't tried all the Middle Eastern Restaurants in Dearborn, but this one is by far my favorite. They have the best baba ganoush I've ever tasted--smoky with ample lemon and salt. And they have a humble-looking, fantastic-tasting dish that I always order called Sheik Mashi: a bowl full of stewed eggplant and lamb and spices served with a huge plate of their toasted-almond rice pilaf. It is tucked away on the back page of the menu where my guess is only those-in-the-know find it.

Cedarland is the most kid-friendly restaurant I've ever eaten in. Yesterday we had two two-year olds (Fiona and her friend Nicholaus) and the owner beamed at them as they dismantled everything in sight, spilled soup and sang the ABCs at the top of their lungs. She brought us free lentil soup almost as soon as we sat down to satisfy the kids while we contemplated the huge menu.

Nicholaus is a much more adventurous eater than either of my two kids--his favorite foods are broccoli and cherry tomatoes and here he is at the restaurant with a pepperoncini and a pickled turnip in each hand. Yes, he tried both and seemed to like them well enough.

Nicholaus has a very sophisticated palate.

I figure if I invite him over for dinner often enough some of his good eating will rub off on Fiona. She started eating broccoli after seeing Nicholaus tuck into a big plateful (though she demands hers doused in cheese). I don't have much hope for Nicholaus influencing Ian; despite the fact that Ian adores Nicholaus, Ian is by far the most stubborn kid I've ever encountered and that stubbornness is manifested most clearly when it comes to food. I know everyone has a picky-eater-kid-story, but Ian will give anyone a run for their money for the title of pickiest on the planet.

We were stuffed after Cedarland and the kids clearly needed naps, so we skipped our usual second stop, the Shatila bakery, where we usually stock up on baklawa and mamoul and often are tempted by the mango ice cream too...


Hanane said...

Hi I am new to the world of knitting and blogging. I was looking at your knitting gallery!

I love the ladybug blanket that is just tooooo cute. If you have the pattern I would love to have it.

Thanks Hanane

Eva said...

Hi Kate,
Eva here. I guess my sister outed me - I've been lurking here for a few weeks, ever since hearing from Stacy Beckerman out of the blue who apparently googled you and found your blog (hadn't heard from her in 18 years - oh and she's changed her name to Zoe). Your posts are both inspiring and deeply intimidating, I must say. As a fellow mom of a 4.5 year old son and 2.5 year old daughter (I forget exactly how old Fiona is), I don't begin to understand how you have the time, energy and resources to whip up the gorgeous sweaters and tampon holders, while putting gourmet ethnic meals on the table all the while assembling mile-long reading lists. And pig roasts for 100 people? Excuse me? Very impressive. Also, in addition to forwarding your blog to my sister (who's an avid reader, knitter and lover of food) I sent the blog info to Meagan, so you may hear from her too. Anyway, just wanted to say hi and that I thoroughly enjoy your posts, even if they do make me feel a bit pathetic.

And we'll definitely check out that restaurant on our next visit to the Henry Ford. Sounds delectable.

Kate said...

Welcome Hanane! I have to say the ladybug blanket was sheer hell to make--I think I burned the pattern after finishing it. If you are terrific at intarsia, you might like it just fine, but I felt like I was going nuts with all the little bobbins attached. I got the pattern out of Zoe Mellor's "Animal Knits" and her version has ladybugs all over the blanket, not just at the edges. After finishing one row I knew I couldn't handle that so I inserted the nice long field of white to recover before braving the second row of bugs.

Kate said...

And hi to Eva too! I'm surprised I haven't run into you lately what with the ages of our kids and the limited number of kid things to do in Ann Arbor. Ian will be 5 at the end of June and Fiona just turned 2 at the end of February, so they are pretty darn close in age to Henry and Ruby. You know that the only way I indulge my 4 obsessions is by neglecting my kids, right? As much as I love them, I am simply not capable of being one of those supremely sacrificial dream moms...And to say that my house regularly looks like a sty is an understatement. Both Brian and I have a high tolerance for squalor and share the feeling that there are far better things to do than keep our house presentable. That's another reason I like throwing parties in the summer because mowing the lawn is a hell of a lot easier than cleaning the whole house.