Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Pyramids Lunch Buffet, Pink Pumpkins, and my weakness for cream cheese frosting...

Hello world, not that many people read this anyway. I am sitting here after binging on my pumpkin bars (frozen) with cream cheese frosting, which I will tell you about later. But first I need to get my review done.

The Pyramids

Recently I went to Pyramid's Restaurant (Last Friday to be more exact), and I had the lunch buffet. For $10.95 it was good, but I wish they had more dishes so I could get a better sampling of the Mediterranean food I've never tried like baba ghannouge, grape leaves, and moussaka. I did eat my fill however, and liked everything about it.

This is part of the interior which is very pretty. There are hieroglyphics painted on the walls which are designed to look like a pyramid (blocks). They have these intricate lanterns hanging down and other decor items as well.

My friends and I started with the cold items. There was fresh delicious pita bread cut into small triangles, very smooth hommus, yogurt sauce, a greek salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, some sort of vinegarette, and feta. They also had tabouli which is made with (i think) parsley, bulgur wheat, tomatoes, and green onions, and it seemed to me like a Mediterranean version of lomi salmon (the texture and use of onions and tomatoes). They also had falafel balls which I was excited to try because I had never had them before. I liked them a lot, especially with a little yogurt sauce, but the flavors were hard to place. It reminded me of a Greek version of a hush puppy.

(In the picture clockwise from top we have...beef/lamb strips; roasted chicken; yogurt sauce; pita strips with hommus; falafel; stewed okra over basmati rice.) I was nervous about the meats. The chicken was good and had an interesting smokey flavor, but I don't like lamb and the little buffet label said beef and lamb. I took a couple strips to my seat and looked at it. Some looked darker than others so I assumed it was the lamb. I took a bite and it tasted only slightly like lamb but not so much that I didn't like it. I was plesantly suprised and asked the waitress which pieces were the lamb. She said that it is ground (?) lamb meat mixed together with ground beef so the product is only part lamb, which explains the subtle taste. SUCH a good idea! I enjoyed putting the strips of meat on the pita triangles with some hommus and yogurt made a mini gyro. The okra stew was my least favorite. The sauce was a little spicy and the flavor was alright though the runnyness of the soup like sauce didn't seem to let the vegetables hold in much juice. It went well with the rice though.

The check came in a pretty box, and I took this picture to show the detailed place mats that were under the clear table top. That's the rice pudding to the left which was not your average kozy shack pudding. The pieces of rice were smalled and more round in my mouth, and the flavor wasn't as creamy as kozy shack. I also detected maybe a hint of coconut flavor and the top was sprinkled with nuts.

Overall this was a great lunch where I ate until I was full and had a good time trying different and familiar flavors in a nice Eqyptian atmosphere.


Yeah so, onto mom's birthday is tonight and I have this recipe book that claims "Family Favorites Made Lighter". So far I haven't done too well on the recipes from there, but I thought I'd try dessert. I made these pumpkin bars/squares with splenda (not thinking that they might be done earlier than the book said because of the splenda). They came out drier and harder than expected, but maybe its because I was thinking more along the lines of the softness of lemon bars. I made a cream cheese frosting (using real sugar) and lemon zest that was so good, but when I was about to add more vanilla (I was distracted by my fiance) I instead added red food coloring! You know how they all look the same in those little brown glass bottles! So...I had somewhat dry pumpkin bars with pink as a rose frosting. *sigh* Which is why they are pink pumpkins and why I won't post a picture of them. They were less than 90 cals each, and somehow I got it into my head that I could eat the last two that I had reserved for me after getting home from work today...I don't know what it is, but that frosting is so dang addicting...even if it is pink!

So I made also (because the bars didn't come out too great), a no bake citrus cheesecake topped with blueberries....a recipe I invented out of my silly little head. We'll see how it goes and I might just post the recipes and pics tomorrow.

There is one thing that turned out pretty good, the beef tenderloin with port wine sauce and puff pastry. Well...the beef wasn't my had wonderful flavor, but the meat was somewhat tough and gristly, but I'm sure that if we had bought a more expensive roast it would have turned out perfectly. I had flavored the roast with some spices and rosemary, and added port, beef brother, onions, and rosemary to the sauce. The port wine sauce on the other hand was to die for! I had never made a sauce so sweet, so savory...I am still impressed. It made the whole dinner good...tough meat and all!

....To review on Nico's Pier 38, and my cheesecake recipe. Also, my exciting cooking and drinking plans for St.Paddy's!


Kathy said...

oooh, I've always wanted to try the Pyramids buffet, we don't have too many restaurants serving mediterranian cuisine, and $10.95 is a good deal for lunch! hee, I think I'd pay that price just for really good rice pudding :)

i can just imagine orange pumpkin bars with pink frosting :) at least cream cheese was involved, hard to go wrong with something that good!

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