Domestic gourmands

Naveed Islam & Tasmia Rahman

TR: If you think that you and your date never run out of things to talk about.NI: Stop it!

TR: .and are willing to brave winds blowing at 53 m.p.h. to put that theory to the test.

NI: Oh, come on!

TR: .stop by Apollon on 207 N Appleton Street to –

NI: It wasn’t that bad!

TR: We were waiting for 45 minutes!

NI: The food was good.

TR: But was it “45-minutes” good?

NI: And we got complimentary double-berry gelato.

TR: I was so hungry.

NI: Let’s rewind. We had reservations for 6:30 p.m. at Apollon. It’s a small restaurant across from the public library on Appleton Street that serves Mediterranean food.

TR: It was cold and I had Doritos for lunch.

NI: That’s college. Get over it. We stopped at a few places on the way to let our faces thaw and were a wee bit late.

TR: President Jill Beck was eating at Il Angolo’s next door. I bet they didn’t keep her waiting.

NI: Anyway, the place was busy when we got there but fortunately we were seated right away. It’s a small little bistro with a little over a dozen tables and a scant few waiters tending to the room. We had a table in the corner by the window where we could see the wind cutting across mounds of snow.

TR: The room was dimly lit to set the mood. They played Greek music on the speakers, but kept it to a low and polite volume so as not to distract from all the eating that wasn’t happening. The wall behind us had a painting of a villa on the mountainside overlooking the sea.

NI: They started us off with a basket of fresh bread and their homemade hummus.

TR: I found the bread to be a little hard to chew. The outer crust was crunchy but tough and the rest of it was soft but somehow still difficult to tear. It gave my teeth a workout.

NI: I agree. It wasn’t like any bread I’ve ever tasted before. The hummus was quite good and had a nice flavor and saved the bread from being altogether bland.

TR: We were served two bowls of soup once we were done with our bread.

NI: It was a rich and creamy lemon and egg-yolk soup cooked in a warm broth. The food that came later was good but this was easily my favorite part of the evening.

TR: And what a long evening it turned out to be.

NI: I had walked from campus without earmuffs and had a headache when I came in. But that soup cleared it right up.

TR: A Tylenol may have worked too. I thought the soup was very good as well. It was almost like they had melted a few lemon bars in a broth and served it to us.

NI: It was heavenly. You could really taste the lemon.

TR: Then came the drought.

NI: Oh, right. The room was quite packed and our waiter must have been busy taking care of his other customers.

TR: So, he forgot about us.

NI: I’m sure it wasn’t like that. He just didn’t look in our general direction for the next several minutes. I suppose we should make some idle chitchat while we wait for him to glance at us over his shoulder. Ahem. So, how are things?

TR: I want my food!

NI: Err. oh look at that table over there. The waiter is serving lamb and pours a thick brown sauce over the dish. He takes a match and holds it close to the dish, causing the lamb and the trail of sauce being poured to go up in flames. It looked very cool.

TR: I could think of some cool things to do with fire right now if they don’t give us our food.

NI: The waiter eventually realized his mistake and apologized profusely before bringing us our salads. Their dressing was homemade.

TR: The salad was very colorful, with some juicy olives, tomatoes, onions and feta cheese alongside the usual greens. I enjoyed the dressing as well.

NI: He took away our plates once we were done and served us two cups of complimentary double-berry gelato, two purple scoops of soft berry wonderfulness.

TR: I feel that he is a bit presumptuous with this gelato. What if we didn’t like berries?

NI: I guess that’s the trade-off for getting something complimentary. We get it for free but they get to choose what it is.

TR: Dinner was served while we were still licking the berry off our spoons. I ordered the baked stuffed shrimp that featured salmon, shallots, exotic herbs and cheeses stuffed into massive piece of shrimp.

NI: I had the Stuffed Grouper Fillet where the titular fresh fish was packing scallions, spinach and crab meat among other things.

TR: We clearly enjoy the idea of stuffing things in other things.

NI: Each dish came with a helping of grilled vegetables and struck a nice balance of flavors. My grouper was so soft that I didn’t need my knife to cut through it. I loved that you could make out the individual tastes of the things that came in my grouper fillet. The spinach was easy to spot but I thought the crabmeat wouldn’t stand out next to the rest of the fish. It came with a yellow hollandaise sauce and some creamy rice.

TR: I couldn’t finish all of my stuffed shrimp, but what I had tasted quite good. The meat was cooked to a perfect white glow and was appropriately juicy.

NI: I had some, and I can attest to the deliciousness of her shrimp.

TR: For dessert we ordered a slice of delicious chocolate mousse cake.

NI: A layer of frosting and brown sugar, followed by a layer of creamy chocolate and finished with a hard dark chocolate shell at the bottom.

TR: They didn’t overdo it with the sweetness. It tasted quite good.

NI: Overall, I was happy with the food. Yes, they may have stretched our conversational limits like the elastic waistband around a fat kid, but it was worth the wait.

TR: I begrudgingly agree. Stop by Apollon on a slow night to enjoy some fine Mediterranean cuisine.