5. Siam House

Per usual, I had some time to spare after classes one day so I stopped in to experience Siam House’s buffet.  Though at first I was planning on ordering off the main menu, I ultimately decided to try out the buffet so I could experience a smattering of different dishes.  The star of the day was Pad Thai; it was delightfully sweet and delicate, and it was my first experience with an authentic version of the dish outside of Noodles & Company, the world kitchen where I honed my skills as a ‘noodle grill’ aficionado.  While I thoroughly enjoyed the dish, after a few bites it became dangerously sweet and I needed something to balance it, so I was happy to have a palette of different flavours in front of me. One of the more bizarre things I had was a fried banana fritter-like dessert.  I’m not sure whether it was my lack of exposure to anything like it or my initial thought that it was a fried protein, but its flavour profile didn’t sit well with me.  Through the meal I gravitated toward chicken and beef dishes paired with steamed rice and delicious lo mein noodles.

 

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I happened to stop in right before Valentine’s day one afternoon, so the restaurant was decorated for guests ready to enjoy a romantic ambiance.

The owner was absolutely the sweetest during my visit, and the next time I go I will definitely try something off their main menu, perhaps a curry dish.

 

 

4. Falafels!

A few weeks ago I interviewed with PepsiCo for a sales position with Frito-Lay, which I didn’t get, but afterward I did get to try a mean chicken gyro/falafel hybrid at Falafels Middle Eastern Grill.  It was around 4 o’ clock so it was only me in the quiet little spot off of Kirkwood, but my server was delightful and made great recommendations with it being my first time visiting

Next time I would probably opt for a traditional gyro over the chicken, but I wanted to give it a go this time around.

For my listening enjoyment, in the background the classic crooners like Sinatra were serenading me over the speakers.  The pita was overflowing with chicken and was accompanied by a (free) side of delicious Mediterranean-style fries courtesy of my handy-dandy Hooked app. If I weren’t so full I would have sprung for a cup of gelato they serve, but I paid my bill and was on my way.  8/10 would reccommend.  I can’t wait to try their gyros.

3. M.I.A.

I let things get away from me for a moment to focus on work, school, and preparing for after I graduate, but don’t worry, a girl still has to eat and while my blogging may have had a brief hiatus, I definitely still managed to try a couple restaurants these past few weeks, so look out for some restaurant reviews with a dash of my own attempts to create culinary masterpieces.  Every time I make a trip home I always have to indulge in some local comfort food that I miss while I’m away at school; this typically includes, in no particular order: Gyros (Mr. Greek Gyros in Merrillville or Munster Gyros), Chinese (Kowloon in Schererville), pizza (usually Rosati’s), Mexican (El Amigo).

Luckily, after spending the day downtown at an advertising career fair, I treated myself to this beautiful (and delicious) sight.

Life lesson: Never turn down a chance to shovel some of the best deep dish into your face, because when in Ro…I mean Chicago.

 

Two. B Town Gyros.

Growing up I remember the visits I took with my dad to Munster Gyros. We’d sit down at a plastic red booth and would either end the meal with dessert in the form of 50 cent Mike and Ike’s from the candy dispenser or an ice-cream cone from the shop next door. Whenever I go home, gyros is one of the Chicago area staples I have to indulge in because, in my biased opinion, no place here, in Bloomington, gets it quite on par with the restaurants back home. Before attending a guest-speaker roundtable event I stopped by
B Town Gyros, a restaurant nestled within a convenience store in Bloomington, to give their gyros sandwich a try.

The meat was juicy and delightful, but the sauce, while good, was lacking something I desired; I think my preferences have been spoiled by the extra-creamy tzatzikiI grew up enjoying.  I was also surprised to find romaine lettuce stuffed into the sandwich–something I have not encountered in my gyros experience.  Now, I wish I had indulged in some feta to sprinkle on top to add a bit more zest and dimension.

While I definitely preferred this sandwich to Trojan Horse’s version, up to this point I maintain that the best gyros in Bloomington are from The Gyro Truck that frequents Kirkwood. Overall I would rate B Town Gyros 5 out of 10.

One.

So, I know the idea behind this blog is to detail my exploration of the different restaurants around Indiana University in Bloomington, but after thinking more about what I wanted to do with it, I also want to incorporate home-cooked meals.  It was a bit of a wet and dreary night so I thought I’d stay home, spend time with my dog Pepper and do some cooking.  Currently, I’m trying to eat and live a bit healthier, so tonight I decided to make some tacos?

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Meet my sweet australian cattle dog/catahoula mix, Pepper.  I adopted her from the Bloomington animal shelter mid-October.

I know, the word “tacos” doesn’t scream ‘healthy,’ but I did my best to keep it as lean as I could.  To achieve a semblance of healthiness I filled a couple pan-fried whole wheat taco shells with ground turkey instead of beef, so my attempt at eating healthy was off to a decent start.  Now, in the past when I attempted turkey tacos, I struggled to keep it flavorful because spicy sauces aren’t exactly my cup of tea, so this time I incorporated an assortment of bell peppers and onions, and I think it made a world of difference. After layering some cheddar jack cheese and adding a dollop of sour cream I had myself a refreshing dish that I would definitely try again.