Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tag and Tuscan Kale

You can only play phone tag with me for so long before I give up. It's not like I want to talk on the phone in the first place.

So after literally weeks of leaving countless return messages but never actually speaking to him, I sent my restaurant-owner friend a FB message.

And don't you just know he shot back suggesting lunch. It was so easy online and such a pain using the phone.

What have we learned here?

Because of my reluctance to leave the city and the fact that he lives in the West End, we agreed to meet at Stella's.

Like so many restaurant owners, he rarely makes the time to check out new places, despite being wildly interested in seeing how they're doing.

He was blown away by how busy the place was while I expected that, having been there before.

Every time a table was vacated, replacements sat down within minutes.

The combination of the location, Stella herself and solid Greek food is apparently exactly what this town has been craving.

If not for the bar stools, there would have been no available seating once we took the last corner table.

Actually, I considered it a compliment to be seated there, since there are plenty of people who would not come close to fitting in that tucked away chair to which I was shown.

My friend likes to "be good" by eating a salad and then sharing a sandwich when we go out to lunch.

Fine by me; I had been wanting to try the salad with black Tuscan kale, kasseri cheese, sliced almonds, EVOO and fresh lemon juice dusted with kefalograviera (a sheep's milk cheese) and he got the Village, a more straightforward Greek salad.

Someone should have warned us to share a salad because the trough-sized bowl of black kale would have been daunting even if I hadn't had half a sandwich on its way.

But it was also a big hit; the slightly spicy leaves were enhanced with two kinds of cheese and I could just taste how good it was for me.

Now I can eat all kinds of bad things for dinner and still feel virtuous.

Our sandwich of chicken with prosciutto and Gorgonzola came with enough Greek potato salad for a small army.

I'd eaten so much of my uniquely flavored salad that I couldn't fully appreciate the sandwich, or maybe it just wasn't my thing, but my friend devoured his half despite doing much of the talking.

He was busy telling me about all his recent road trips (3,000 miles worth) and his ongoing search for another new restaurant spot.

It kind of makes me wonder, when will Richmond reach critical mass on restaurants?

Looking around Stella's at almost 2:00 on a weekday, I'd guess the answer would be no time soon.


  1. Thank you Karen for your lovely compliments here and on your River City Rapids write up! Please come back and see us again soon!

  2. Next time it'll be for meze ora!