by Kholood Eid
Editor's note: Aspiring photojournalist and Gut Check contributor Kholood Eid is chronicling her Ramadan fast in diary form. Click for all Ramadan Diary entries to date.
I love Greek food. Pair it with a shimmying belly dancer balancing a sword on her head and I'm in nirvana.
My friend and one of my cousins joined me for a Mediterranean-style Saturday evening at Momos Ouzaria Taverna in U. City. I've been to Momos, so I took charge in ordering the appetizers -- and there were no objections once the gals got a taste of the "Momos Spread Sampler" -- htipiti, tzatziki and hummus -- and spanakopita.
Htipiti, my favorite of the three spreads, is made of roasted pepper, feta cheese, capers and olive oil. Momos' rendition is delicious, although I wouldn't mind a little more spice. The tzatziki offers the refreshing combo of cucumber and yogurt, amped up with garlic and dill; and hummus provides a solid base, with its citrusy, garlicky blend of chickpeas and tahini. The spreads come with pita bread, but the amount of bread they give you isn't nearly enough, and I always end up having to order an extra plate or two. That's my only gripe.
But oh, the spanikopita! If iftur were an oasis, it would be stocked with spanakopita. At Momos we were served four delectable phyllo triangles layered with spinach, leeks and feta. One per person isn't enough, so as diplomatically as I could, I split the odd slice with my cousin.
We hadn't finished our appetizers when Arabic music began to blare and a belly dancer appeared. I must say, she swiveled those hips and balanced that sword on her head like a real pro. (I don't know why, but I often ask if it's okay to tip the belly dancer. Just for the record: It is.)
All three of us ordered the gyros (mine was chicken, theirs the traditional lamb). They were delicious, though with the insane amount of lettuce Momos piles on, they look more like a salad than a sandwich, and it takes serious dedication to get down to the rest of the toppings (tomato, red onion, cucumber, meat). By the time I got past the lettuce, I was so worn out that I called it quits after a bite or two of the actual gyro and boxed it up.
OK, not so much worn out as wanting to leave room for Momos' chocolate phyllo dessert.
It took some pleading with the others to "man up" and share a dessert (much grumbling about being "too full"), but I prevailed and we ordered. Phyllo baked with chocolate between its layers, surrounded by a border of whipped cream and an assortment of pieces of fruit, with chocolate syrup drizzled on top: Could a fasting girl ask for more? No -- unless you count wishing we'd ordered two or three instead of just one.
Momos Ouzaria Taverna 630 North and South Boulevard, University City; 314-863-3511