The Incredible Adventures of Gourmet Gal

Friday, November 03, 2006




Halloween, the evening before All Saints’ Day, the night when the spirit and the normal world allegedly become one. A time that’s considered the second most exciting night next to Christmas eve for kids and adults alike. All I could think about was the just-revealed winner for the 2006 Vendy Awards.

The curiosity was eating me alive.
I must have Sammy’s Halal food.

So J volunteered to go out into the cold. Okay, he didn’t. I begged. A good husband comes in handy all the time.

He came back thirty minutes later with two heavy takeout containers of Sammy’s goodies.
“Was there a huge line?” I was curious.
“Nope. But the guy’s cheesy. He’s got the trophy on top of his cart.”
I gave him a strange look. “Wouldn’t you do the same?”
He shrugged. “It’s freezing out there.” J took off his thick jacket and rubbed his hands.

Men exaggerate.

A whiff of intense aroma arose the minute I lifted the Styrofoam lid. One box contained grilled cubes of chicken with shredded lettuce on top of slender gains of basmati rice. The other had chopped beef and lamb kebab with the same rice and salad (slices of raw radishes were added onto it). I had asked for white sauce and just a tiny bit of red sauce. The result was a beautifully messy landscape. I dug in eagerly.

The beef and lamb kebab was indeed robust, savory, and full of satisfying Middle Eastern spices. So was the lightly charred grilled chicken. What surprised me the most was the rice. It was not the usual limp, yellow jondus looking crap you get from the generic Halal vendor you frequent. Samuil Haque’s basmati rice tasted healthy, chewy, and just plain delicious. Accompanied with the meat, it was a dinner of heaven at mere $5.

Here’s to Sammy the winner!

That being said, I woke up the next morning with intense heartburn. What went down smoothly the night before was arguing with me ferociously. Maybe I should have only one plate of Sammy’s Halal instead of two. Or maybe it was the five Jack Torres chocolate, one grande maple macchiato, and the bowl of Kettle Corns that I consumed after the meal that did the voodoo. Whatever it was, I am so totally going back Sammy‘s again. Next time, I’ll try the gyro.

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