Friday, August 12, 2005

Cafe Lili

Yesterday I had dinner with a bunch of friends at a restaurant I had never tried before: Cafe Lili, on Westheimer between Chimney Rock and Fountainview. Unlike good food bloggers, I have no pictures to post with my comments. Even worse, I didn't even have a digital camera with me to take pictures, so I won't even be able to post pictures after the fact. That's life without a digital camera.

But, the food was terrific and I would recommend it to anyone who is near enough to the restaurant to try it. Cafe Lili is a Lebanese restaurant and their main theme is "FRESH." And it was indeed fresh! I had their fish special (I think it was redfish) and it was super. (Redfish, despite its name, has white flesh.) They gave me a whole fish, not just a filet, with the bones gone and the skin taken off one side. It was seasoned with something really yummy and the fish just flaked off the skin. Wow! Plus, the dish came with a huuuuge salad of lettuce tossed with a tasty oil-based dressing and some kind of feta cheese/tomato mixture on top. It was all definitely fresh and very delicious.

The only caveat I would toss out concerns the dessert I had. I like rice pudding, so I ordered Cafe Lili's for dessert. However, I wasn't too big a fan of their rice pudding because I think it was flavored with rose water or something similarly perfume-y. It was unusual, and not unpleasant, but it was not what I was expecting. I wanted something sweet, flavored with vanilla--something like the Istanbul Grill's vanilla pudding. Instead, I got something that tasted . . . well, a little like perfume. So I wasn't too thrilled with the dessert.

Plus, a number of people ordered the rice pudding and the various orders came out with different consistencies of pudding. Some were creamier, and some were thicker. The creamier ones were better . . . but still perfume-y. So if you like rice pudding, you might not want to try your hand with Cafe Lili's because 1) it's perfume-y and 2) you may not get the best batch in the world.

Otherwise, though, the food was great and very reasonably priced. Since it was a large party, people ordered appetizers and wine and what not, but you could go and eat just a really good entree (with the accompanying salad) for $9-16. (I think the fish special was $15 and I would have been happy eating just that).

Anyway, it's the weekend now! (Or practically.) Have a good one!


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