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四处游荡的艾小柯

四处游荡的艾小柯

My Little Travel World


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盛宴天堂——新奥尔良美食指南(六)


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六.        中东的异国情调

 

回想小柯第一次吃中东菜,应该是在阿拉巴马州的伯明翰市,沙拉里的腌橄榄让我皱了一路眉头,唯一记住的是中东的羊肉好吃,又软又嫩滋味又足。

后来才知道,那个软软的羊肉菜叫做Gyro,其实并不都是羊肉,而是羊肉、牛肉,甚至有些餐馆还放入猪肉切碎了与香料混合在一起烤出来的。Gyro通常与中东口袋饼(Pita bread)和哈马斯酱(Hummus)一起食用,吃的时候把切成两半的口袋饼从中间破开,在“口袋‘中放入混合肉与哈马斯酱,也可以把随盘同来的蔬菜沙拉加进去。因为中东菜里配主菜的蔬菜沙拉一般都是用简单的醋与香油调味,十分清淡,不会盖过主菜本身的味道,也不会浓过乳白色哈马斯酱本身的香中带酸。等这些东西都放齐了,口袋也就收口了。如同一个大三明治般,连饼带肉带酱带菜的咬下去,那真是香啊!

当然,中东菜最大的特色确实是烤羊肉,尤其是那种大肉串,连肉带蔬菜一起烤,还是那个字:香!不过自从小柯开发了新奥尔良上城的黎巴嫩餐馆:Lebanon’s Café (1506 S. Carrollton Avenue, 504- 862-6200) 之后,才发现原来中东菜还有那么多超级美味的珍宝,而这家黎巴嫩餐馆也成为“小柯导游图”的另一个必经之地。

在黎巴嫩餐馆里吃饭,一定要点那道迷迭香烤羊排(Rosemary Lamb Chops),最好烤得外焦里嫩中间带一点点血丝,然后叮嘱侍者从厨房那一小杯红辣椒粉,一小杯孜然粉。吃的时候羊排可以蘸哈马斯酱,也可以蘸特意要的辣椒粉加孜然粉。如果是后一种,那简直就是最正宗的新疆烤羊排啊,吃完没有不竖大拇指叫好的。与羊排同来的还有烤蔬菜,其中烤番茄与绿豆角永远都是我的最爱。尽管这迷迭香烤羊排是黎巴嫩餐馆里最贵的一道菜($18),但因为量大,六块羊排足够两人分食,性价比还是相当高的。

尽管羊肉是中东菜的特色,素食者在黎巴嫩餐馆同样可以享受美味一等一的菜色,小柯在这里强烈推荐用黑色生铁煎锅烤出来的素食锅(Veggie Plate)。这道菜最下面是一层加了香草调料的印度巴斯玛提米饭,中间是洋葱、番茄、豆角、西葫、茄子等的蔬菜大集合,最上面是厚厚的一层奶酪,烤到完美。一大锅分量十足,足够两人食用。如果同去的人多,小柯还推荐头盘里的大杂烩(Appetizer sampler),可以尽尝不同中东美味。

如果还想更进一步,饮料也可以发挥冒险精神点一杯黎巴嫩甜茶。茶里因为加了玫瑰水花香馥郁,同时因为有松子漂浮在水面上,茶变得更香。不过这种香更接近于香水的芬芳,喝起来有种怪异的感觉,很有几分异国情调。

吃完大量羊肉,估计没几个人还有胃口心思吃甜点。正好,结帐时候与帐单同来的还有糖裹的杏仁,简单一颗正好当甜点清口。在黎巴嫩餐馆吃饭,花钱不会太贵,保准吃完了还想再来。

除了烤羊肉,中东风味的炖羊肉原来也是不可多得的人间美味。

这家将羊肉炖出灵魂来的餐馆叫做Jamila’s Café (7808 Maple Street, 504- 866-4366),是艾小柯在新奥尔良又一家全心钟爱的美食天堂。这家小小的餐厅坐落于Maple 街一个不起眼的老房子里,简单的木门小招牌,如果不是门外玻璃框里的菜单与大玻璃窗里的串串小灯,驱车而过是太容易与这里失之交臂了。

餐馆主人Moncef Sbaa 与妻子Jamila 是北非地中海岸的突尼斯国人,12年前来到新奥尔良开出这家餐馆。烹饪风格融合了突尼斯家常菜、中东与法国风情,菜单上许多菜色都是这里独有的创新。来这里吃饭,十有八九能碰到热情好客的老板Sbaa本人。他不说“欢迎光临”,而是“欢迎回家”,难怪,看看店里七八成的老顾客就知道了。不过新人也不要紧,Sbaa喜欢给食客介绍突尼斯的传统与特色食品,有什么问题尽管问,绝对包君满意。

Jamila’s Café 最著名的是它的瓦罐炖羊肉与蒸粗麦粉(couscous)。小柯对蒸粗麦粉不十分感兴趣,每次来都认准了那瓦罐羊肉。小小一个瓦罐,里面是热气 腾腾的羊肉炖汤,褐色的汤汁里面一块块炖得稀烂的羊肉,没有半点膻腥,只有羊肉最纯正的香浓与鲜肥。这一罐羊肉配一晚印度巴斯玛提长粒米饭,最好把羊汤浇在米饭里,让溶化了的羊脂精华与巴斯玛提米饭特殊的清香完美结合。清冷的冬日夜晚来这里吃上一餐炖羊肉,暖得可不仅仅是胃。

除了突尼斯家常菜,Jamila’s Café还以法国风味著名,尤其是头盘的蜗牛。小柯在《食色性也》这篇文章中提到的法国蜗牛就出自这里。六只肥美的蜗牛放在纯白的小瓷皿里端出来,每只都浸泡在溶化的热黄油里,表面是一层深绿的细碎欧芹。蜗牛本身并没有多少肉可嚼,吃的是口感的滑爽,品的是味道的鲜与一点点的腥,用欧芹的清香来平衡是最完美不过的。这道蜗牛是小柯吃过最性感的菜色,来Jamila’s Café ,这道非吃不可。

既然拥有如此调情乱性的美食,Jamila’s Café的气氛也相应的极为浪漫优雅。闪烁的串串小灯与耳边隐隐约约的突尼斯音乐总让人有身临仙境的错觉,而幽暗的环境,跳动的蜡烛火苗都让四目脉脉相对这样的瞬间延绵成永恒。吃完了饭,还有侍者端来香橙花水来濯玉手,进一步将优雅的浪漫氛围推向顶点。每年情人节的时候这里都要预约,一对对一双双佳偶璧人纷纷现身这小巷小馆,正迎合了那句老话:酒香不怕巷子深。


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June 19th, 2006
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