Today is the day The Teenager planned to work on the downstairs bathroom, installing a new floor and finishing the paint. Our fellow cat foster has agreed to help her with this project, which is very kind of her. Originally, The Teen had off today, but at the last minute her boss added some clients to her roster.
So, as I write this, I have a belly full of pleasant Middle Eastern food after going to Allentown with M to visit the restaurant Damascus, which was once the establishment of our college peers whose parents emigrated from Syria.
My washer, dryer, toilet and floor have been removed from the downstairs bathroom and I have a burning, burning toe.
Where to begin…
I think the logical start might be our meal.
We arrived and inquired about the history of the restaurant, only to learn that the cousins who lived down the hall from me in college did indeed come from the family who founded and operated Damascus for 25 years.
We also learned that the family sold the restaurant about 7 years ago, but they still made amazing food.
I ordered the falafel sandwich and M ordered the garlic labneh, hummus and zaatar/oil.
My falafel came in a tight cylinder of pita, stuffed with crisp lettuce, hot peppers, tomato and dripping with tahini. It was lovely brown and crusty (in the good way) on the outside of the falafel, but soft and flavorful on the inside. They put a few hot peppers on, just enough to give the tahini some zing but not too many, protecting the flavor integrity of the falafel.
The hummus was smooth. The labneh creamy and rich with garlic. And as M loved to point out, the zaatar had the sumac he loves.
After our lunch, we shared some of the most photographic baklava I’ve ever seen and sipped Turkish coffee. I don’t know about you, but I love a strong Turkish coffee so rich it almost reminds one of chocolate. I didn’t add sugar, preferring to alternate bites of the succulent, picture-perfect baklava with the coffee.
The man behind us explained to his date in detail how they make baklava which involved lots of repetition of “they crush pistachios” and “they layer phyllo dough and honey” over and over and over.
M and I talked for a while sipping coffee in tiny cups and then drove to the Parkland area to see the new mosque under construction a friend had told him about when they met overseas.
On the drive home, my damn toe started burning again, so badly that I could not wait to get home and rip off my socks and remove my new toe separator. I believe I mentioned yesterday I bought each variety of toe separator available at my local CVS: the gel separator, the bunion wrap with toe separator and the gel toe protector.
My toe no longer looks inflamed, but the skin is still painfully tender and red with skin peeling all around.
I decided to wear gel separator with the bunion rap today. The gel separator felt much thicker than my normal toe separator cushion from the podiatrist. I really liked the wrap, but I really think the gel separator might have put too much pressure on the toe.