Looking for a dinner choice for Friday night, it really boiled down to the confluence of the answers to two questions: 1) What sounds good?; and 2) Where can we get a reservation? When I saw Sun In My Belly appear as a choice on OpenTable, I clicked on the first time slot that we could make from the house, and our destination was set. Some friends had mentioned SIMB as a place they had enjoyed recently and I swear that I read somewhere about their pimento cheese.
Arriving at 6:30, we beat the bulk of the dinner crowd and were the first folks seated in the middle room of the three dining areas –
the third, and furthest from the entrance, is marked as a “Private Salon”. The feeling was very casual and the menu had some interesting choices.
I couldn’t decide what I wanted, so I asked for a recommendation between my three choices (fried chicken, shrimp and grits and the burger – they came back from our server in the exact opposite order). She loved their burgers, so I went with the burger. My beloved ordered the vegetable plate, which looked like an artist’s palette when it arrived.
From the top:
- Turmeric cauliflower purée
- Jicama orange salad
- Spinach, tomatoes and onions and
- Maple glazes sweet potato with pecans.
It was a beautiful, interestingly composed plate, and according to the recipient, quite good. The only downside was that it was not terribly filling, as she was looking for a snack before ten.
My Zia burger (I opted for the beef as opposed to the lamb),
was fabulous, a half pound hand-pattied Niman Ranch all-natural beef patty with hatch green chiles, sharp cheddar and a roasted garlic aioli on sesame challah served with hand-cut fries. I love spicy food, but generally prefer the flavor that chiles impart, as opposed to eating the chiles, themselves, but these hatch chiles were an unexpectedly wonderful addition to the burger and I devoured it. The fries were so small that eating them was a challenge because you couldn’t get them on a fork – they fell between the tines and were too narrow up “spear”. But I struggled through <g>. We’ll have to go back and try more of the menu.
You may have noticed that I’ve included SIMB in multiple categories – I wasn’t sure where to place them. They bill themselves as a European neighborhood cafe, and they seem to fit that bill.