Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Recipe for Life

As an extended birthday celebration, the family went out to my FAVORITE restaurant on Saturday night... 'Sweetwater Tavern' in Merrifield, Virginia. Even though the place is obnoxiously loud and the wait interminable, the food is so incredibly superior, it makes all other food hang its head in shame.

The most amazing item on their menu... No, I mean ONE of the most amazing items on their menu, is their 'Chop House Salad'... Think, sweet yet tangy buttermilk dressing, romaine letttuce, basil, roasted corn *damn I hate it when I drool all over my keyboard*

So as I sat there extolling the merits of my delicious salad to my sister-in-law, she said, "Why don't you ask them for the recipe?" I explained to her that I had a pretty good idea the recipe was a closely guarded secret. In fact, there were probably ninjas protecting a safe in anti-chamber under the kitchen, along with a 3 headed dog and... Well, you get the idea.

After an appetizer of mouth watering Calamari and the tavern's amazing basket of donut like rolls and herbed butter, the family sat eagerly awaiting the main course. That's when a lovely little Asian woman walked up to our table, introduced herself as the manager and politely apologized for the wait but added the kitchen was just finishing a fresh batch of their redskin, basil mashed potatoes... and did we mind the wait? Even fresher potatoes? Of course not! But that's when my sister-in-law popped up with, "You can make it up to us by giving us the recipe for the 'Chop House Salad'." For a moment I thought the manager might go all ninja on us but instead she replied with, "Well, I can give you a list of the ingredients... Would that be all right?" "YES, YES, that would be wonderful!" I piped up!

Roughly 5 minutes later, after our freshly made potatoes were sitting before us, mine with a heap of delicately roasted chicken... Everyone elses topped with salmon... The manager handed us a tiny 3" square piece of paper, listing the ingredients for the 'Chop House Salad'... But here's the thing...

It's JUST the ingredients...
No measurements...
Just a random list of ingredients...

Yes, it puts me one step closer to being able to make this, oh so delicious salad, in my very own kitchen... HOWEVER, I see this as kind of a metaphor for my life...

It's like yeah, I know what the ingredients are but exactly how much and when and how to mix it all together? Well, that's the REAL question!

So, does anyone know where I can find 'Champagne Vinegar?'

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Blogger paestar said...

ooh, ask my mom. she bought me champagne vinegar once, actually it was pomegranite champagne vinegar, but i am sure wherever she got it they may have regular champagne vinegar.

3:25 PM, October 22, 2009  
Blogger lime said...

i think when i got champagne vinegar it was just at the regular grocery store.

and yes, that does sound like a metaphor for life....all the same ingredients but what you do with them determines if it's tasty or not.

2:58 PM, October 24, 2009  
Blogger Nature Girl said...

I LOVE Sweetwater Tavern! MY favorite dish on the menu is the pecan encrusted trout which they also have at their sister restraunts. My youngest child and I were recently in town and headed for dinner at one of my fave places while we were in the Tyson's Corner mall, I forget the name of it...the ocean themed one...anyway, my son had the Chop House salad and I got my pecan encrusted trout. Mine came with a side of those redskin potatoes...they really ARE to die for arent' they? Dang...I can almost TASTE that pecan trout now...I'm hungry and almost just drooled on MY keyboard! LOL That meal was almost the only good thing that came of that trip! LOL

3:08 AM, October 26, 2009  
Blogger Nature Girl said...

oh...check Trader Joes or World Market for that Champagne Vinegar..

3:09 AM, October 26, 2009  
Blogger EmBee said...

Thanks everyone for your advice on the champagne vinegar... Once I get over my apprehension for trying to put this recipe together, I plan on picking some up.

Oh, and Tracy... You're thinking of 'Coastal Flats'... It wasn't until our recent visit to 'Sweetwater' that I realized 'CF' was one of their restaurants. You can bet your sweet a$$ I'll be trying that pecan trout next time I head over to Tyson's.

Lordy, I think I just drooled on myself and I'm not even hungry.

12:30 PM, October 26, 2009  

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