Thursday, July 14, 2005

July 13th: Martha's

In attendance: Zeus, Solids, Hotsauce, Mycroft, Moxie, Ace, and the Lady Aubergine


Martha's (Pronounced Marta's) is definitely one of my favorite places in the area. Cheap (7 of us ate well for under $100). Lebanese-American food... but no one I know has ever ordered anything but the Lebanese food. The place is run by Joe and his wife Martha, they(she) all the cooking. Their daughter Tanya covers cash register and works the tables, all 4 of them.

This night it was just Martha and Tanya, and the place was overflowing both with inside customers and to go orders. Martha looked especially drained, but she still cooked a wonderful meal.

The Movers waited for their food at the outside Picnic tables, but finally succumbed to the biting flies and had to move indoors to squeeze around a couple tables pushed together. Definitely worth it though, given the great time we had.

The menu included:
All: Hummous and Tabouleh, Flat Bread, Simple Salad
Zeus: Hummous and Meatless stuffed Kusa
Solids: Sirloin Kabob w/ Rice and Lamb Pie (Kafta, Meat Kusa)
Moxie: Lamb Kabob w/ Rice and Lamb Pie (Kafta, Meat Kusa)
Ace, Hotsauce, the Lady Aubergine: Kafta w/ Rice, Chicken Kabob w/ Rice, Lamb and Rice stuffed Kusa

Zeus did not have any of the Tabouleh because as she said: "Its not that I didn't like the Tabouleh, I just didn't like the Tabouleh." Zeus isn't a big fan of the strong lemon flavor. Being Celiac, I was not able to enjoy it either - since as I am sure most of you know, it is made with cracked wheat.

Solids and Moxie were also not big fans of the Lamb Pie, because of the combination of Allspice and Lemon (I believe). Possibly cinnamon as well, but in my experience allspice in Lebanese cooking often tastes cinnamony. Given I grew up with these flavors mixed together, the filling tasted wonderful to me, but I wasn't able to eat it - again, Celiac.

kafta & rice pilaf, lamb kebob in background

Everyone who had the Kafta seemed to really like it. Very juicy and the spices really enhanced the lamb flavor. Sirloin and lamb kabob were wonderful as always. The chicken kabob was a bit dry and a tad too lemony in my opinion, but no one else seemed to mind as it was gone by the end of the night.

kusa - hollowed out & stuffed - no easy culinary trick! I know, I've tried!

Definitely the star, in my opinion, was the Lamb and Rice stuffed Kusa. Kusa is a small Lebanese squash that they hollow out from the very top and then stuff with a Lamb and Rice mixture. When baked the squash holds together very well, but is tender and soft in the mouth. Slices along the Kusa make these great little 'chips' of squash around meat which are just fun to eat. A light tomato sauce is poured over the top, just enhaning the entire dish. A meatless version was ordered for Zeus, who enjoyed it, but Mycroft, Moxie, and myself REALLY enjoyed the lamb stuffed version. I brought two of the meatless ones home for Mother of Ace, who is herself half-Lebanese American. I will report on her enjoyment when I hear.

Mycroft was given permission by Moxie to finish off the Kusa.

Pics coming soon from Moxie!


plentyo'moxie said...

the pics are up on our account in flickr - since I don't have access to your blog, you'll have to snag them.

It's not that I didn't like the meat pie - actually, I did like it. Mycroft was just asking me to confirm the flavor of the spice. I don't think I could have eaten the whole pie, though. Tasting it was perfect.

Ace, Mover said...

I know but I was going to pull them to put them up later.

Let me give you access. You should have it anyway.

Ace, Mover said...

Access given to you and all the other Movers invited to also become posters. Let's see if they take advantage.

zeus said...

Nice photos