I have a hard time making a decision. At least when it comes to making a decision in a restaurant on what to order. I love to peruse a menu in detail and go over and over all the possibilities in my mind and narrow my choices down to what I really want. Except what I usually really want is a taste of about four things instead of limiting myself to just one entree and one taste experience. That's why I like going out for Chinese food when we eat family style and everyone orders an entree and then we share and share alike. Then I get to taste lots of things.
So, in my frustration at not being able to taste everything I want, I often order a couple of appetizers as my entree. Then at least I get to taste two different things. Or even better I order one of those appetizers that is like three in one--you know, like mozarrella sticks, bbq wings, and quesadilla slices. Then my taste buds get to explore several items. That is as close to nirvana as I have come, restaurant-wise.
Until yesterday. That is right, people, I found something even better than my appetizer-as-an-entree restaurant life and it is called Citris Grill.
This place is local and purports to serve fresh ingredients only. And let me tell you it all tasted fresh and delicious to me. But that isn't the only reason I love it. It also serves every appetizer, soup, salad and most entrees in either a hearty or petite version. The petite version of each item ranges from about $2.50 to $5.00. Which means my dreams have come true: I can actually go to a restaurant and order the taste of four items I want without breaking the bank or killing my digestive system. I thought I had entered food heaven when I realized this.
So, Meg and I were in our element. She being my sister experiences similar pangs of indecision. We both hate that awful feeling when you finally decide and order something and when it comes, you wish you had ordered one of the other three things you really wanted because the item in front of you makes your 0h-so-NOT-fabulous list after one bite. Well, we ordered plenty last night and some of the items made our oh-so-NOT-fabulous list but it didn't matter! Because there were other items that made the oh-SO-fabulous list with a gusto.
We lucked out with a $50 gift certificate so we really went wild ordering several petite versions of things like:
- Rock shrimp and calamari: a little too deep-fried for me. But hey, I got to try squid!
- Smoked salmon plate: a definite favorite. Lots of great smoked salmon, decadent cream cheese, red onions, tomatoes and capers and served with fresh-from-the-oven pita wedges.
- Sweet potato corn chowder: it needed a pinch of salt but once we added that this soup was creamy and full of yummy, earthy goodness.
- Crab wontons: were okay. I liked them, but once again more crispy and deep-fried than I expected. But definitely worth the try when dipped in the great hot sauce that accompanied them.
- Cobb salad: very good to me, if it only had a bit more punch to the dressing. It was served with gorgonzola cheese instead of the more typical blue cheese, a substitution I liked, but as a result it needed a bit more bite or pungency in the dressing that was missing. Still a very good salad.
- One pizza: a definite keeper with its black beans, bbq sauce and chicken. This dish was a favorite of the night as well.
- Five pizza: a cheeseburger pizza that was even better the next day. It earned rave reviews at the impromptu taste testing we shared with several family members a day later.
Then the entree we ordered was a New York Oscar steak, which means it was topped with asparagus, crab and a bearnaise sauce and served over a wild rice. And what a dish this was. It is not on the menu but was the special that night and it was EXACTLY what I want all of my future steak orders to encompass. It was melt-in-your-mouth tender with hot, buttery asparagus. The asparagus were done perfectly--not too chewy and not limp and soft. The steak was sublime. It practically sizzled in my mouth and then dissolved in a fresh, yummy splendor on my tongue.
Of course, since we were celebrating, we had to wrap up this taste fiesta with their chocolate cake. Hmmmm. It was a dense, almost brownie-like cake with a strong cocoa taste.
We had a ball. And I've finally found the kind of restaurant that caters to the indecisive crowd.
The next day we wanted to share our spoils, so we held an impromptu taste test at my parents' house for anyone present. What got rave reviews a day later? The cheeseburger pizza, Cobb salad, smoked salmon plate and the New York Oscar steak.
So, the big question now is: Anyone want to go to dinner?