I have been wanting to try Sababa for over a year now and I even made a reservation but got cold feet and canceled. Finally I took the plunge. Service was cold. You can get two courses for $22 at brunch time. The food we had was tasty but did not agree with my stomach due to spices.

Charred Eggplant – Herbed Labne, Pomegranate & Pistachio
Very simple baked eggplant rolled and topped with pomegranate molasses and chopped pistachios. It was good but a little too light.

Smoked Trout – Muhammara, Walnuts & Grilled Cucumber
Very spicy muhammara was the base for smoked trout. Crisped chickpeas added crunch.

Sumac & Onion Marinated Steak Kebab
It was good but a bit chewy.

Lamb & Beef Kofta Kebab
It was flavorful but too spicy for us to enjoy.

Halva-Chocolate Pot De Creme Almond Brittle, Date Molasses & Chantilly
After all the spice we needed a sweet to cool us down. It was enjoyable.

Avocado Matcha Muffins

I got this recipe from Whole Foods. I checked the muffins multiple times to make sure they were cooked through. I baked the muffins for around 40 minutes. I liked the taste but found the muffins a bit on the soft side.

Extra-virgin olive oil, for the muffin pan
1 1/4 cups almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tablespoon matcha powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 ripe Hass avocado, pitted, peeled and mashed
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 large egg (or 1 tablespoon chia seeds for a vegan version)
3 tablespoons unsweetened paleo-friendly almondmilk
1/3 cup chopped raw shelled pistachios, divided

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Oil a standard 12-cup muffin pan with extra-virgin olive oil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, coconut flour, matcha, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Combine avocado, maple syrup and lemon juice in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until fairly smooth. Add egg and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour mixture and almondmilk. Fold in half of the pistachios.

Spoon batter into the muffin pan, dividing the mixture evenly among the cups. Sprinkle the tops of muffins with the remaining pistachios. Bake until the tops are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let muffins cool in the pan 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the pan and unmold muffins on a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to four days.


Afghan Bistro



I have been wanting to try Afghan Bistro ever since we moved to Northern Virginia. I did not realize it served lunch, otherwise we would have dined there much earlier. The space was very small but it had some nice art work. There was no sign of any Afghan nationals at lunch time. Everything we tried was tasty but spicy and acidic.

Roasted eggplant and tomatoes. It tasted good but there was no mention of tomatoes on the menu.

Khammer Mashreqi
It was a flavorful beef dumplings topped with garbanzo, kidney beans, Yogurt and mint. It was tasty and a good amount of food for $12.95.

Ghengis Shank
Lamb shank with a very acidic spiced tomato sauce over rice with carrot and raisins. It tasted pretty good but my stomach paid the price. The leftover was chewy.

A Rake’s Progress



fried chicken vs the egg sawmill gravy, fish pepper honey, benne seed
My husband ordered this. It was a big piece of chicken cutlet and an egg. The side potato was good also. He was full for a long while!

ember’d vegetables turnips, beets, brassicas, polenta cake, snake oil, green goddess
I should have gone with my usual tasty burger. Crisp polenta cake and root veggie were good but I was still hungry! Needed a bit of nuts or something to make it a more satisfying dish.



Local Radicchio Salad Valdeon, Manchego, Walnuts & Membrillo Vinaigrette
It was a nice crunchy salad but it had lots of valdeon blue cheese and since my husband is not a blue cheese fan, I had to eat most of it and suffered from sodium overdose!

Patatas Bravas with chili sauce & aioli
It was good and satisfying.

Confit Tuna Salad with fennel, potatoes, roasted red pepper, caper & aragon olive
It was a nice salad. It had good amount of tuna and plenty of potatoes and peppers. It needed a more acidic dressing to brighten it up.

Vernick Coffee Bar



I am always on a look out for great bakeries and have been wanting to try Vernick Coffee Bar in Philadelphia for a while now. It is open from Monday through Friday, so if you come on the weekend, you are out of luck. We stopped here twice in one day, breakfast and lunch. We sampled a good range of the baked goods and my favorite was the croissant. If You could live at the Four Seasons, you will be set for breakfast , lunch and dinner with Vernick Fish and the Coffee bar and you will weight 1000 pounds!!

Great flaky buttery croissant.

Strawberry passion fruit kouign-amann
Too sugary. Kouign amann could already be sugary, why on earth you need powder sugar on top?

candied orange chocolate croissant
Very good orange chocolate flavor with a good texture.

7 Grain croissant
Nice texture and you feel better by eating a bit healthier.

pear confit tart
A little on the sweet side but good flavor.

Coffee chocolate scone
A little sweeter than I like. It had plenty of chocolate and coffee glaze.

Millionaire’s shortbread
Rich and tasty.

Crab avocado toast
Great crusty bread with spicy avocado and fresh sweet crab meat. What is there not to like?

Chilled shrimp, soba & sesame salad
My husband loved this dish.

Vernick Fish



I love Vernick’s original restaurant and had been waiting for his new Vernick Fish to open up for a while now. It is located on the first floor of Four Seasons hotel. I picked it for our first lunch in Philly and it did not disappoint. The decor was very clean.

I usually eat the crust but this bread was beyond nutty and tasty. The butter was very good also.

Octopus Greek
This dish was the reason I picked this restaurant. The octopus was charred perfectly and went well with the side of the Greek salad. I could eat this salad everyday.

Miso Salmon, Avocado & Crispy Rice Salad
My husband picked this dish. I am not a big salmon fan but I could not stop eating the char grilled salmon. It was served with my favorite indulgent carb, crispy rice. Very good.