Sunday, July 31, 2005

Half-way through summer

Last day of July, and that always feels like a milestone. It's only July and August which are really hot and humid here, so we're half-way there. And so far, it hasn't been too awful. No major heatwaves, and the air conditioning is still limping along. We set it to 26C now, and it reduces the room temp to 28C. That's all right: with the dehumidifying it does it feels cool in here when it's hotter out.

Last night Richard and I went out for the meal for which our house group gave us a voucher. Nice place. It even has a website. But I was rather puzzled: the site says it's a steak house that even vegetarians will love. So... I would have thought that meant it would have a good selection of veggie options on the menu. Logical, no? I'm not a vegetarian myself but I don't eat much meat - I prefer veggie meals on the whole, though I'm quite happy to eat chicken or fish (although not sea-food of the lobster/crab/prawn variety). Occasionally I eat a little beef or lamb if I'm offered it, but I never do at home.

Cyprus restaurants aren't renowned for their vegetarian choice, although most will offer two or three - albeit sometimes rather unimaginative. So I was looking forward to seeing what Campanario would have on their menu.

It had NOTHING for vegetarians. Not a thing. Not even an omelette! Well, I suppose amongst the starters there may have been vegeterian possibilities, but nothing at all amongst the main courses. Strange. Just as well we weren't vegetarians!

Anyway... we aren't huge eaters, but some of the starters sounded quite nice. We asked a waiter how big the Caesar salad was, and he said it was fairly small. Sometimes we have one starter between two, but we thought - well, salad; it won't be that filling. So (as we had the generous voucher) we ordered two.

They were HUGE! And while the majority of them was lettuce, of varying types, it was covered in dressing and grated cheese. With croutons. And (just in case a vegetarian had sneaked in and ordered one) anchovies on the top.

Actually they were very good, but extremely filling. We managed about half each.

For the main course, Richard ordered what they called an X-rated steak - with a cream sauce - and I ordered chicken kiev. His was apparently tasty though a little chewy. Mine was OK, but very chewy. They came with chips (ie french fries) that were clearly cut on site, and delicious. They also came with some mixed veg that weren't very tasty. But never mind. I only managed about half my meal and I felt full by the end.

However we thought we'd better try a dessert - since we had the voucher, and it wasn't the kind of place we'd go on our own normally. Well, we don't go out to eat more than three or four imes a year anyway, so as this was the last celebration of our 25th anniversary month, we thought we'd better end on a good note.

We were very glad we did. We ordered a chocolate ice cream cake thing, and it was awesome. It looked like a generous slice of cake covered with chocolate sauce. It turned out to be mostly ice cream, with a praline topping and something a bit like shortbread mixed in with the ice cream. Yum! It really was excellent. I ate mine v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y as I was extremely full. I enjoyed every mouthful.

It was a very pleasant place, too. The tables were outside in a walled garden with plants growing around and overhead. No insects fell on our table, and although smoking was allowed we weren't plagued by smokers. Well, we got there at 7pm and were the only people in the place for about half an hour, till others started arriving. By 9pm when we left, it was filling up quite fast. Cypriots tend to eat late, by our standards.

But I still don't understand their web-site byline. Bizarre.

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