Not exactly stepping out of the comfort zone...
Okay, this may not have been the most challenging of my dining adventures. I didn't even leave Sugar Land. There's nice artwork and the tables are spotless. The menu even has burgers for those who insist on having their American food. So no bonus points for being daring!
However 3 bonus points for getting Linda in the blog! Linda and I live next door to each other. We laugh in the driveway or over the fence. But here we are out of the neighborhood! Thanks for telling me about this place, Linda!
Linda knew the owners were from Palestine, so I was eager to add a new kind of food to my list. But I didn't get my hopes up about having much interaction with any of the family because the place was hopping with diners at noon.
Jimmy took our order at the counter. He didn't act a bit annoyed when I asked where he was from. When he said he was specifically from Bethlehem, I was pretty delighted! "Hey, we have a lot in common, because my name is Beth!" Jimmy seemed amused at my corny comment, but then a little sad to know I had never been to Bethlehem.
It wasn't until after lunch that we got this photo. We ended up chatting quite a bit...actually more about Boise, Idaho where he lived before Houston. What a good humored sport, to put up with my photo needs! 3 bonus points for Jimmy.
What is Mediterranean food?
I've had Greek and Turkish and so many foods that are considered Mediterranean. I had hoped to try something more specific to Palestine, so I chose the beef Shawerma which supposedly is the most common street food in Palestine. But after a little internet search I learned it can be found in all parts of the world. Oh well, it was delicious. The tender beef was served with tahini sauce, tabouleh and hummus. I'm no expert on these dishes, but the flavors seemed a perfect blend. The tabouleh tasted so refreshing and light, it encouraged me to eat more beef and spicy hummus! 4 points for my meal!
I really do love an authentic atmosphere where I'm surrounded by the language, music and decor of a different culture. And I really love it when the customers are of the same culture. Well, that's not what Red Oak is all about. In fact most of the customers were on lunch break from nearby businesses. (like Linda!) But the owner, Marita has created an atmosphere that is welcoming and friendly. When she saw Linda and me chatting with Jimmy and clicking photos, she was more than happy to join us for a photo. We will go ahead and give 1 bonus point for enjoying the knowledge that the restaurant is owned by folks from Palestine. But we'll give a big 5 bonus points for these folks who took the time to help us enjoy our experience...even when it was busy!
Clean and Comfortable
The majority of restaurants on my dining list are small family owned spots with little "curb appeal". In fact sometimes they can look a little intimidating.
As I said, it took no bravery to step into this nice, clean cafe in a safe area of Sugar Land. I could subtract a bonus point for that, but after some of the sticky menus and wobbly tables I've experienced, let's go ahead and give 1 bonus point for a nice, clean appearance!!
A total of 17 points for Red Oak Grill!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.