Feast from the Middle East: The Basics

Margaux Anbouba has spent a lifetime of summers living in Syria and traveling the Middle East. She’s tried almost everything that Arabic food has to offer – including the Middle Eastern versions of Kentucky Fried Chicken, something that claimed to be “Chinese food,” and one hundred and one types of hummus. When she once asked her dad if she had eaten camel before, he laughed and pleaded the fifth. Today she begins a series on Middle Eastern cuisine.

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Dining For Dummies: Spring Produce in Dallas/Fort Worth

Oh, springtime. You’re my blue sky; you’re my sunny day. Turn your love my way! Despite the cooler than usual springtime temperatures, restaurants in North Texas are incorporating spring produce into their menus. Fort Worth restaurant AF+B just released a new spring menu, with a few items that left me scratching my head. As you can see below, it wasn’t alone. Aiming to make you look a little smarter at your next springtime dinner club, here are a few springtime produce items demystified.

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Dining for Dummies: Asian Market Edition

The April issue of D Magazine is a food lover’s paradise. One feature included information on local ethnic markets. In an effort to help you decipher the guide, here is a run-down of some foods that were included in the feature. I’ll start with the Asian markets.

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Dining for Dummies: Italian Edition

I don’t like tomato sauce. Not that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I feel much better. Yes, that means I don’t like traditional, red sauce pizza, spaghetti with tomato sauce, or lasagna. You can imagine what a minefield dining at Italian restaurants is, then. The menus are always terrifying. Even if you, like most normal people, like tomato sauce, Italian menus still can be daunting. Let’s fix that.

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Dining for Dummies: The Oak Edition

Oak’s winter menu is definitely way smarter than I am. Loads of questions popped up when I took a peek at the current menu. What, exactly, is gastrique? Farro? Harissa? For those who didn’t, or don’t, have a clue, but couldn’t bring themselves to admit their lack of gastro-knowledge, that’s why we’re here. Let’s get started.

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Dining for Dummies: Words You Think You Know, But Really Don’t

On a recent trip to Nashville, I ate at a really tasty restaurant. Only problem: When I got there, I looked at the menu and froze. I couldn’t order. I had no idea what one single dish on the menu was in its entirety. I asked the waiter approximately 63 questions. To my surprise, he wasn’t irritated, and in fact, said he appreciated me asking beforehand, rather than ordering and complaining after-the-fact. He also mentioned that he thinks many diners are embarrassed to ask. In the age of “everyone’s a food critic,” people don’t ask their servers the right questions out of fear of revealing what they don’t know. I don’t fall into that camp. I want to know.

For those of you like me, here’s all you ever wanted to know about dining but didn’t want to ask. Without further adieu:

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