Posted by: Hil | May 4, 2013

Salad and Salsa

Last night, I dragged a reluctant Lemonator to a salsa dance class. I am a dance dabbler: I love to try out different styles of dance and have never gotten particularly good at any of them.  Partner dances—swing, salsa and other ballroom style stuff—have always been my favorite. I took a lot of ballroom classes in college and have missed it since then. So when I learned about a beginner level salsa class that was starting up, I begged the Lemonator to come with me.  He protested.  I promised him dinner at Tender Greens beforehand as an incentive.  That seemed to do the trick.

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Tender Greens is a Southern California chain that the Lemonator and I really love.  Everything is fresh, flavorful and prepared right in front of you.  The basic backbone of the menus is the five types of grilled “hot stuff”—roasted vegetables, herb chicken, barbecue chicken, seared albacore tuna, and steak.  You can choose to have the “hot stuff” on a big salad, in a sandwich with roasted peppers and a side green salad, or on a plate with a side salad and mashed potatoes.  They also have a variety of special soups, salads and tarts depending on whatever is in season.  All options are delicious and affordable.  The Lemonator always orders the same thing:  grilled steak and red peppers on ciabatta bread with a side of Caesar salad.  I stole a bite—yum. 

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He also obviously needed to order some mint lemonade. A different kind of liquid courage!

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For my part, I went with a special:  arugula salad with roasted peppers, fennel, chickpeas, a skewer of grilled lamb and tzatziki sauce.  Delicious. 

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We also love Tender Greens because it is one of the only places we can share dessert (all housemade, incidentally).  With some narrowly specified exceptions, the Lemonator will not eat fruit, chocolate, whipped cream, custard or frosting.  Needless to say, this puts limits on dessert sharing possibilities!  He will, however, eat the deliciously moist lemon olive oil cake that Tender Greens serves.  I’m not normally a cake person, but I like this one very much because it is very moist and not too sweet.  We shared a piece.

Then, it was on to salsa!  To the Lemonator’s relief, our instructor took things from the very beginning and the crowd that showed up was very easy going.  The instructor was very good at communicating the basics of how to get through the moves.  We had a lot of fun and will probably go back next week.  It’s nice to be able to get up and move around after being stuck sitting down at a desk all week—what better way to celebrate the start of the weekend?

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