Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Mardi Gras!

Since today is Fat Tuesday, I decided to treat myself to a nice lunch since I will be giving up paying for food outside of the grocery store. This is not only for my wallet, but to get myself back on track with somewhat healthy eating. I also want to get back into the gym, starting next week.

I went to Engrained, which prides itself on being sustainable. They use organic and locally grown produce, fair trade coffee, free range chickens and eggs, etc. The menu changes every two weeks so every visit is a new experience.

I decided to have the Engrained trio so that I could sample three of their dishes and a Philly roll. I wanted to try the Andouille sausage, ricotta cheese, eggplant, and arugula lasagna, but they were out so I had the vegetarian option instead, gratin acorn squash with pine nut ratatouille. The squash was resting in a pesto sauce, which really added to the flavor. The combination of the sweet squash, eggplant and yellow squash ratatouille topped with crushed pine nuts, and the pesto was excellent.

It also came with spinach crispy shallot salad, which was dressed perfectly with a balsamic vinegarette. The shallots had a great flavor and added crunch, but I wish there had been more. For dessert was poached pear d'anjou. In the middle of the pear slice was a mousse filled with candied pecans covered with just enough chocolate to satisfy my sweet tooth.

The Philly roll was good, but nothing to rave about. The rice was a little stiffer than what I'm used to, but the cream cheese and salmon were fresh. This visit to Engrained was much better than the last time when a fire alarm went off right as I received my food. I had time to take it all to go, but it just wasn't the same. I will visit Engrained again the next time I feel like something fancier than Papa Johns or Burger King.

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