It certainly helped that Brian was home for the weekend and that we had no set plans...we were total grown ups and decided we would do whatever we wanted. That included a morning run (which was horribly soggy and not my favorite of all times), a trip to the climbing gym (where we got to see a bunch of gym pals and got to climb a whole bunch), a stop at REI (hey, I have a birthday list to work on and only a few days to get it done -- next year's list has already been requested with a June deadline) and a magnificent dinner at Tulip.
You may recall that last winter Brian and I travelled to Turkey for what turned out to be the trip of a lifetime. I could spend hours and hours talking about the trip, but focusing specifically on the cuisine, I wasn't sure what to expect going into the trip. It turned out that Turkish food and Amy totally agree; Brian would surely echo my sentiments. While I did have an aversion to one spice used -- I don't like the smell, so that certainly impacts my perception of the taste -- I enjoyed almost every meal I had during our 10 day stay. Add to that the fact that most meals are followed up with tea and chatting, and I'm convinced I should simply grab my cats and my husband and relocated to Turkey.
While I am definitely on the picky side of the food spectrum, I still know good food when I find it, and Tulip was fantastic. Due, in part, to a large birthday party, it took some time for us to get seated at Tulip, but I did get to enjoy the only beer I like, Efes. Once we were seated, it was like being back in Turkey again. We had the Ottoman platter, which included chicken, beef and lamb kabobs, and spicy meatballs (those are the bad boys I avoid). Add to that the delicious Turkish rice and the cucumber dip and I was in heaven. Aside from the food itself, the sights around the restaurant made it easy to think I was in Turkey again -- pictures of the Blue Mosque, the evil eye, blue and red tulips on Turkish tiles, and multi-colored lamps surrounded Brian and me, and we spent our time talking about our trip and future trips we have planned. I cannot express how important cultural exploration is to the both of us.
I left Tulip with such a strong sense of nostalgia, a desire to leave for Turkey immediately and a full tummy. In essence, it was a perfect night!