Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Freshy Fresh

Most of me is anatomically proportionate.

Everything seems to fit my 5' 8" frame. My feet, my legs, my head. Yes, I have a rather large chest, but my carriage seems to hold it well. It all fits together just *so*, assembling a form with which I'm comfortable.

For all of my neat and tidy measurements, there is one affliction that is my cross to bear. This unfortunate dynamic normally rears its head around meal time, pointing out the ugly nature of my physical challenge, and is usually only sated by noshing on copious noms.

You see, my eyes are bigger than my stomach.

Oh, you may wave off my claim, having perhaps seen my eyes once before, and assuredly saying they're appropriately sized for the rest of my body. But, no, I must retort. My eyes are as big as beautiful, painted china saucers, and my stomach as small as warn leather pouch.

This predicament made itself known at lunch time last week when I decided to soothe the savage beast not with music, but the cornucopia of culinary goodness at Fresh Table.

Fresh Table is one of the newest stalls to take up space at Over-the-Rhine's beloved Findlay Market. It's so new that last week co-owner/chef Meredith Trombly told me they didn't have any information available online, however I googled and found the website linked above. I don't know that self promotion is Fresh Table's strong suit, but then again, people don't turn up at their glass cases for schlock, they turn up for the food.

And it is sooooo good.

So. Anyway. Eyes bigger than my stomach. That predicament. There I was, faced with dozens of tasty salads, pastas, veggies and other offerings, trying to decide what pound and a half of food to eat for lunch.

You know the average American eats 4.7 pounds of food a day, right?

I drooled over massive piles of meaty lasagna, two kinds of chicken salad, a savory bread pudding, prime rib, two kinds of potato cakes. In all, Meredith told me they aim to offer around 40 or 50 made-from-scratch dishes/entrees every day. The dishes are made as needed, and she says they haven't had a single dud recipe since they opened less than a month ago.

After wiping the saliva off my chin, I settled on half a pound of grilled veggies, half a pound of the curry chicken salad, and a quarter pound of a spicy Thai pasta.

The grilled veggies were tender but firm and full of that smoky, charred flavor people seek from a grill.

The curry chicken salad was better than my mom's (please don't tell her). Its flavors were very dynamic, sometimes spicy and sometimes deeply savory, punctuated by the sweetness of the many raisins.

The Thai pasta was probably my favorite. The noodles cooked to the perfect firmness, slippery with perhaps a bit too much oil but zippy thanks to a Thai pepper dressing, cilantro and a nice sweetness.

Each dish I enjoyed was $7.99 per pound - a price that another Findlay Market vendor remarked was too rich for his blood. For an everyday work day lunch, I'd probably agree, as I consider it a triumph if I can score lunch for six bucks or less.

Still, I could see Fresh Table being my go-to place when serving dinner to friends in the evening and needing a source of quick, gourmet offerings to round out a meal.

And I was pleased when Meredith told me she'll deliver to folks in Over-the-Rhine and Downtown Cincinnati, meaning I can even "order in" if feeling lazy.

Keep in mind, Fresh Table keeps the same hours as Findlay Market, so consider that as you make plans to swing by or have something delivered.

I'm glad Fresh Table has joined the neighborhood, and am also thrilled they'll help me slay the dragon when my eyes-are-bigger-than-my-stomach starts acting up.

If I make this place a regular habit, my stomach might just outgrow my eyes.

Oy. I don't know if that's a good thing.

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Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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