Monday, March 01, 2010

Adventures in Dining in Eastern Arizona

Today we were surprised to discover our favorite diner in the area-- the one that normally only has things like hamburgers and chili fries -- had lasagna as the special! Woo-hoo, something different to eat! We, of course, ordered some right away.

Well, this is cowboy country. You can't put anything too exotic on the menu but, I swear, this was the most bizarre "lasagna" I have ever seen. It was made with lasagna noodles and ricotta cheese but after that the resemblance to anything Italian was completely missing. No tomato sauce that I remember, no mozzarella cheese. Instead there were tiny diced carrots and broccoli. Vegetarian lasagna in cowboy country? That was creative...and edible...but truly the worst lasagna I have ever eaten. I've been longing for interesting food, though, so I found myself enjoying the weirdness nonetheless.

Earlier this week I thought I would make some Indian food but there was nothing to make curry sauce with in the house. I went to the grocery store to get some, the LARGE grocery store, the only local supermarket. And I eventually did find curry powder there but not before having the following conversation with the grocery store clerk I asked to help me find it:

"What's curry?"

"A spice...from India."

"What do you use it for?"

" make Indian food?"

"Oh!" he said. "You'll probably have to go to a health food store to find that!"

Keep in mind that this is a store in which you can find 45 lb sealed white plastic tubs of white flour, 10-15 lb cans of baking powder and 5 lb cans of beef gravy. When the Mormon apocalypse comes -- something they're all counting on -- there will be BISCUITS AND GRAVY for everyone!

But nothing Italian and certainly not Hindu. I'm lying--there is a Round Table pizza parlor in town. But you get the picture.

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