It has been an incredibly busy summer with work trips, amazing beach vacations, weddings and one very big piece of news - I bought a house. I haven't had a chance to talk about this major life moment here on the blog, but it finally happened - after a year and a half of searching with the most patient realtor, I found my dream home. I closed on July 31st and moved in August 17th. I have been living happily in my new digs ever since!
The new house is located off of Mt. Auburn Street in Watertown, smack dab in the middle of Harvard Square and Watertown Square. Though I grew up shopping at the Watertown and Arsenal malls and sharing countless meals at the Aegean with my grandparents, in general, this area is uncharted territory for me.
What could be more exciting than moving to a neighborhood full of restaurants you've never been to? Hmmmm. Pretty much nothing!
My first meal as a legal Watertown resident in my new zip code was at Red Lentil on Mt. Auburn Street. Red Lentil is a vegan and vegetarian restaurant and I heard from two vegetarians friends that it's excellent.
My mother, our family friend and I arrived at 7:15pm on a Wednesday evening and the place was already packed!
For an appetizer we ordered the gobi manchurian to share. This dish is cauliflower coated in Indian spices. About two years ago I became obsessed with cauliflower. I like that its shape reminds me of broccoli and therefore it feels healthy, but its taste is delightfully similar to mashed potatoes. Win-win.
The gobi manchurian was delicious! The cauliflower was seasoned perfectly and the Indian flavors were bold but not overpowering. Between the three of us we devoured every last piece.
My mother ordered the sea vegetable salad (translation = pile of seaweed). The plate was citrus marinated arame and hijiki over scallions, sesame seeds and mixed greens.
A few bites into our meals, our waitress returned to ask how we were enjoying our dishes. Since my mother had been picky about the soup, our waitress specifically questioned her about her salad to make sure she was happy.
I chose the Thai peanut noodle salad for my dinner. It was chilled soba noodles, carrots, red peppers, cilantro and scallions tossed in peanut sauce and served over mixed greens. As you can see, the dish is topped with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
After our dinner plates were cleared our waitress asked if we'd like to have dessert. We were curious about the offerings and requested the menu. As it turns out, all of the dessert at Red Lentil are vegan. While we love vegetarian meals, we were a bit freaked out by the idea of vegan desserts and decided to pass.
Both of the dishes I ordered at Red Lentil, the gobi manchurian and the Thai peanut noodle salad, were excellent. I already have my eye on items to try on my next visit including beet-potato latkes, the butternut squash polenta and the sweet potato quesadilla.
The service at Red Lentil was a little lacking - the food was slow to come out, our waitress would disappear for long periods of time and for some reason there was no ice in our water despite it being a super hot and humid August day.
Despite the slow pace of the service, the food was delicious and I am grateful to have a vegetarian restaurant just steps from my front door!
Now that I'm settled into my new neighborhood, what Watertown restaurants do I need to check out?