I have to appreciate a friend who knows me well enough to send me this message, "How about lunch and/or maybe something nerdy on Friday?" Eating and nerdiness, my top two favorite occupations and especially when I have a friend along for conversation and company.
Aziza's on Main was our meeting place because I've been eager to see what kind of Lebanese-inspired goodness they offered. P.B.F. arrived first and scored a window-front table, giving me an excellent view of noontime in the Bottom. We perused the chalkboard menu, but decided we needed visuals and went over to the deli case to help the decision-making process along.
I won't lie, my eyes went right to those big, beautiful cream puffs first. Oh, my! But we were checking out the savories, not the sweets and all of them looked really fresh and appealing, lengthening the selection process. I finally decided on the tuna, basil and white beans with a salad of local mixed greens and Billy Bread. My friend got the Aziza's chicken salad (made with roasted pepper, celery, red onion, basil and red vinegar as opposed to the southern style which had mayo and sweet pickle juice), a green salad and the grilled cheese.
We shared each other's food until we were too stuffed to eat anymore and still had a lot of leftovers, enough for an entire other meal, according to P.B.F. Sadly, I had no room left for dessert, but I intend to go back and correct that...after trying some other savory offerings first.
My friend is just recovering from near-pneumonia, so we decided against a nerdy activity post-lunch, but we discussed several options for our next afternoon together. Agecroft? Henricus? No doubt we were boring the pants off the guys at the next table with our enthusiasm for upcoming nerdiness. We balanced it somewhat when my friend asked about the state of my love life (um, tragic?) with talk of avoiding online dating, past hurts and FBs, but even then I think our nerdiness may have shown through. We could only hope that they were too enthralled with their food to need entertainment value from us.
Which is highly likely, given how exceptional (and inexpensive) Aziza's food was. Hold on, cream puffs, I'll be back.