Thursday, July 8, 2010

180's Degrees of Ethnic Dining...

Or rather a 180 degree change in Christine and I's choices in ethnic food choices on Saturday night. We had simple plans....scarf down Media Noche's at Flaco's (and divine cream cheese pastries!) before wandering over to Stubbies-because honestly what else would a self respecting beer snob like myself being doing on such a lovely weekend? Right? Right.

Except that Flaco's was closed! Tragic really, since I could already taste the wonderful smokey pork, melty cheese and crusty we immediately started considering our other downtown options now that Cuban was out of the picture: The Top?-just went; Stubbies-sausage again? sigh; Dragonfly?-meh; La Boca-mixed reviews; Liquid Ginger?-did you say Asian Fusion? Yes, please!

This is another one of Gainesville's gems, in my opinion. It's more than dining out, it is a dining experience. All of the meals are served as a "bento box" including soup, salad, seasonal sides and dessert.
I got the Vegetable Saute

And thus began my meal:

Miso soup to start, just the way I like it- loaded with mushrooms!

Classic Asian salad, with a creamy ginger dressing. Strong and delicious.

The box hath arrived......yum!

The seasonal sides: cold ginger noodles, pickled zucchini, cold garlic green beans, curried potatoes and of course, rice. All the sides were great, but I especially loved the noddles (message to the chef: plate more noodles for me next time, ok? thanks!) and the pickled zucchini- the pickling sauce was loaded with chilies and garlic! I ended up rolling the green beans in it too! Yum!

Speaking of yum.....zomg! This somewhat dully named dish, "Vegetable Saute" doesn't give this meal credit at all was truly incredible.  I'm actually finding it hard to describe this plate of tender yet crisp bok choy, mushrooms, onions, red and green peppers, snap peas and broccoli tossed with tofu in what seemed like a decadent coconut cream sauce and yet the whole meal was incredibly light and satisfying. I loved how rich this dish was but didn't leave me feeling weighed down at all. My mouth is literally watering as I type this....I need to go back ASAP!

And as if such a wonderful meal couldn't get any better this appeared (ok, fine the waitress asked what flavor I wanted....but it magically appearing sounded better, no?)

Green tea for me and cinnamon for Christine. Very refreshing and creamy!

If you live near Gainesville or are even just driving through I would seriously recommend visiting Liquid Ginger. Our service was a little slow, but that seemed to be due to our waitress, not the kitchen.  Oh, and any guesses on how much this four course meal set me back? A mere 14 dollars plus tip! I think that is incredibly reasonable!

Love to all,
~the bento box convert, Jess


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