I have a feeling I will be back in this area, on repeat. Last night I joined the sister and her peeps, Raulie and Yertle. Raulie pointed out more restaurants than I had time to paw into my iPhone. The sister trusts Raulie's opinion, after Tamam, I do too. I have now moved their suggestions to the top of my List.
My growing List prompted me to start prioritizing so I created a system about an hour ago. Let me share. At the top is 'need to try' - as in if I don't eat there soon I'm a food-blogging-fraud. Then there's 'nice to try', then 'eventually try', which is mostly a mish-mash of recommendations that sound okay, but likely won't blow my mind. Finally, there's 'pretend to try' - a handful of restaurants I wrote down out of politeness but could care less. I don't trust the people who offered them because they over-analyze and are more eager to participate than educate. Regardless my system is a testament to the fact there are so many (maybe too many) people adopting the role of amateur critic - voicing complaints, sharing recommendations, and pimping their favourites - I like it.
But I'm no critic. I am just down with good food.
Tamam is good food. It's a little hole-in-the-wall. A slightly ragged and worn mom-and-pop stop, but clean and cozy. The five of us sat in their solarium where I spent about five minutes staring at words I'd never seen before. Mujaddarah, freekeh, mutabal...Que?
One familiar word stood out - HALOUMI...I f*cken love haloumi. It's cheese that eats like meat, and Tamam cooks it up the best I've ever had: chewy, golden, lightly charred atop baked eggplant with tahini, garlic and olive oil.
|THIS is mutabal. An instant favourite.|
|Tender lamb, no knife needed.|
Tender, juicy, well-seasoned chicken.
What do you need to know about freekeh? I giggle when I say it...no seriously, it's a super-grain. Kale-eating yoga-loving tree-hugging Vancouverites are going to be all over it in a matter of time.
|The fish was PERFECTLY cooked. I loved it. |
I could throw every superfluous word at this fish...it was THAT good. Mind blown.
|Wasn't feeling it. Too sweet and sugary for me.|
Tamam is the type of restaurant I hope those who offered me 'pretend to try' recommendations stay away from because they would over-analyze. Tamam is too straightforward for their rigmarole. Succinctly put - it's healthy, flavourful, colourful and beautiful, plus affordable. Traditional Middle-Eastern flavours of fresh ingredients cooked to order with olive oil and herbs. Ridiculously simple, and amazingly delicious.
P.S. Before writing today's post, I just spent ten minutes Google-mapping Palestine. Those that know me are laughing because they know my geography knowledge is twice as bad as I am intelligent. Take a moment to get that...
Moment's gone. Weekend's here. I'm off to a bad-ass BBQ at Raulie's tomorrow. The sister is making galbi. I made what my fans call 'crack pie'. Let there be feast.