After spending several days cooped up in the house, the missus and me ventured out into the hood on Thursday afternoon seeking lunch. Rather than call places ahead, we decided just to take a stroll and see what was open. We felt confident we'd find something.
We did not want to hit the Ellsworth area, so we figured we'd walk to Georgia and head south. On the way to Avenue we did notice that Thai Market was open. So this was good, just in case other places were shuttered we knew we could do TM if necessary.
As we walked south on Georgia, we first saw La Bamba was closed. That was OK, we aren't big fans. Next up, Olazzo and Newcaro - but they typically don't do lunch, so as expected they were shut tight. In addition, the awning had fallen down from Newcaro and a sign in the window stated they'd be closed for a bit while snow-related renovations were completed. Not sure how long this will take. In addition, I couldn't make a direct link to the restaurant's website here on the blog. When I tried to pull up their site, it says "account for nicarorestaurant.com has been suspended." Maybe someone more tech savvy than me can explain. Are they just behind on paying the hosting service?
OK, what's next? Abyssinia - closed - don't like Ethiopian food too much anyway. Big Greek Cafe - closed? Now wait a minute. We thought they'd be busting out the falafel. But no. We kept walking. Hook & Ladder, Pacci's? Well, you know the answer to that. We can't really complain they were closed since they have yet to officially open. But Pacci's is coming along nicely. I'm feeling good for a spring opening. Next, Taste of Jerusalem - closed. We didn't peek around the corner for Vicino, but we did see Jackie's was closed - again, no real surprise since they usually don't open till 5:00.
All right, with fingers crossed we approached Kim Than (or as it is now known, the Lotus Cafe). Open! And with a crowd. Why not? No one else is serving. So we were ready to chow down. We started with some crispy veggie spring rolls (well I started with a big boy Fischer - tasty). As usual, the rolls were very good. The missus then moved on to the Pho with tofu and I did the vermicelli noodle salad dish.
The pho comes loaded with veggies (carrots, jalapenos, mushrooms, onions, broccoli, bean sprouts and cabbage) that accompany the noodles, cilantro, tofu, and a wonderful broth.
My vermicelli had lettuce, tofu, shrimp, peanuts, another spring roll and that killer fish sauce I love. Mmmm. Throw in a hearty amount of rooster sauce and I was in business.
Needless to say, we left Lotus Cafe stuffed to the gills and ready to head home for an afternoon siesta - thanks mother nature. If you haven't been to Lotus lately, or yet to give it a try, check 'em out. While the decor is not the greatest and the atmosphere is lacking, the food is really good and the prices are very reasonable. I am certainly glad we have them in the hood.