Anyone who has met my husband knows that he can be a bit of a picky eater. In Mike’s mind, the only thing better than meat with potatoes is meat with meat. Slowly over the almost 13 years we’ve been married, I have managed to get him to try some new foods, mostly at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. This past Sunday, while we were looking for a place to have lunch after visiting Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Mike suggested we try Carmel Kitchen and Wine Bar in Sarasota, FL. It is near the new Mall at University Town Center. For an appetizer we shared the small order of chickpea fries. YES! I said CHICKPEA FRIES. They were served with a tomato jam and a saffron aioli.
They were absolutely delicious. I wanted to lick the little bowl that the tomato jam was served in. It was so tasty. The saffron aioli had a bit of a kick to it and it was Mike’s favorite. We both said we would order them again.
I don’t have a picture of Mike’s lunch. He had a pressed angus burger. It had caramelized onions, manchego cheese, and chili aioli. The sandwich was so big that he couldn’t finish it all.
I had the chicken pita with a side of cranberry-pistachio quinoa. I couldn’t stop eating the quinoa. It is a food that I really don’t enjoy preparing but love it when someone else makes it for me.