Monday, September 3, 2012

Brookside Diner

Last week Hubby finally went to the dentist to get his root canal, the result of 10 years of not going to the dentist (kids, don't try this at home).

It just so happened that during the root canal, the dentist dropped everything and said, "Sir, it looks like your teeth is rotten from the core. We need to pull it out."

So the root canal turned into a tooth pulling session, as my hubby painfully described. Blood was gushing out so much that he had to change a gauze every 15 minutes. The doctor also prescribed antibiotics and painkillers (which his coworker suggested auctioning it off on eBay) to sooth the gaping hole in his mouth. He even had to take half the day off because it was too painful to think.

Anyway, it also just happened that day that we planned to visit my dad's in NJ to pick up the wedding presents that we had left at the venue.

On the way over, hubby was complaining about his throbbing toothache. Although I felt pretty bad, there was nothing I could do for him. I myself was in a state of coughing/wheezing/sneezing with a cold from wedding exhaustion.

When we finally got there, my dad took us out to a diner for dinner. Normally, I would have been pretty excited, but this time, I was like uhhh but neither of us can eat anything. I was however quite tempted by a little baby playing with a thick sugary toast.

Since none of us felt like eating anything - despite the friendly waitress' suggestions - we started off with some soup - hubby and I got the chicken matzo ball soup, and my dad the split pea soup (as per the waitress's advice).

I had always wondered what was a matzo ball, and finally got a chance to find out this time. I was a bit disappointed because it just tasted like soft dough. The soup was kind of lackluster too, tasting a lot like chicken broth.

But my dad's split pea soup was out of this world! It was so creamy and seasoned to a mild perfection, bringing out the authenticity of the split peas with a lentil-y kind of texture.

My Dad didn't want any meat, so I ordered for him a cannelloni parmiagiana. I had to google it first before ordering it because I wanted to make sure I was getting the right thing as I thought I was getting, which is a noodle envelop with cheese and blanketed by more cheese.

Cannelloni Parmiagiana

Indeed, I did get the thing I thought I was ordering. I liked the simple presentation of it, and it reminded of Christmas with the pasta sauce at the bottom and the green flakes of parsley sprinkled on top.

The taste though was less festive. It was kind of plain with the ricotta cheese. I don't really like the taste of ricotta because it's got this texture that I'm naturally averted to. Can't really describe it. It was quite cheesy however, which my dad really liked. I think next time I should get him a veggie lasagna or an eggplant parmigiana.

Hubby, in all his toothache pain, ordered some pancakes with sausage. I wondered out loud whether he'd be able to eat it, considering his dentist's advice of eating liquids like soups and congee. But he said no problem, probably because he loves pancakes so much.

He finished two, and I helped him finish the rest. It was for the most part pretty good, but the syrup was cheap sugary liquid that made it taste kind of artificial. Also, the pancake mix was a little too doughy for my liking, not like the fluffy kind where you don't have the doughy texture lingering in your mouth. In retrospect, I should have ordered a serving of thick toast for myself.

Surprisingly, my fav part of his dish was the sausage, because it was crisp and tender, fried to an oily finish.

I also helped Dad finish some of his pasta. It was pretty good at the end if you scraped off the sauce with some of the bread. Btw, the bread is a little iffy, because towards the end I was chewing it, and I could scrap off the grossy layer of egg paste at the bottom. It actually tasted like plastic, and if you tried ripping that layer, you would find an impossible task in your hands.

I would have loved some dessert, like their luscious cannoli looking pastry or a slice of their red velvet cake, which was only $2.50. But I figured it would melt by the time we got home, so opted against it.

By the time we left the diner was filled up with family patrons who were probably regulars. This little girl from one lady hopped onto the table next to us with two grandparents and their daughter (who ordered a large plate of beef steak with gravy, a sandwich and some chicken). That was pretty cute I guess, and shows just how family-ish this community it.

A lovely diner, with hit-or-miss food (always listen to the waitress!). But I'd be back just cuz of the atmosphere.

Brookside Diner
*** (3/5)

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