12 August 2012

Baileys Crossrds: Athens

After a full day of tabling at the Animal Rights Conference, Dorothy and I heard about a protest everybody seemed to be gathering for.  It involved something about Air France transporting some kind of primates for lab research, a lot of angry vegans, a suspiciously vague target, and a creepy guy with a beard.  As soon as we were alone, Dorothy and I looked at each other and said, "We have to get away from all these VEGANS."  A whole day of enormous vegan egos was just a little overwhelming.  Who has the energy for a vague protest after that?!

So we spent an hour at REI,* then, on the recommendation of one of their employees, we went to this utter hole-in-the-wall.  The hole-in-the-wall to end all holes-in-the-wall.

3541 Carlin Springs Rd
Baileys Crossrds, VA 22041
(703) 931-3300

Each step closer to this place increased my trepidation.  Surely there was lard insulating the windows and exploded chicken broth coating all the food.  Each step from the door to the counter inside further ratcheted up my anxiety.  Good thing Dorothy was there.  She took the reins and struck up a conversation with the young Greek guys behind the counter.  Their English was flawless and they were super accommodating.  I relaxed.  This food would be okay.

Our $6 House Salad came with iceberg, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, red onion, jalapenos, green bell peppers, and a red wine vinaigrette.  Dorothy wants those of you who don't feel like dying when you look at olives to know that these were fresh and tasty.  The veggies were nice and crisp, and the dressing a lovely complement.

The Greek Oven-Browned Potatoes for $5 looked so yummy.  Dorothy fielded the first couple bites and mentioned a possible meat broth problem.  I stuck my face up close, took a big whiff, and was instantly repelled by my utter certainty that the taters were wading in chicken juice.  Fail.

You can tell Dorothy and I are friends because we're both suckers for dolmades.  These were $7, stuffed with that magical Greek seasoned rice.  We'd never had warm dolmades before, but I actually enjoyed this raised temperature.  Because we requested everything meat, dairy, and egg free, we got a nice tangy tomato-based sauce instead of the yogurt stuff they usually come with.  We enjoyed both that and the salad dressing as dolmades dips.

While ordering, our eyes had alighted on the Green Bean Casserole for $5.  Dorothy, who all weekend had forgotten all our travel memories (good-naturedly, like Dory from Finding Nemo, except on a functional level), looked at me and said, "Remember that butter bean dish?"  I immediately accessed the 6-year-old, well-thumbed memory from the real Athens, and knew she was implying that this green bean thing would taste like that butter bean dish, which was SO INCREDIBLE that even Dorothy remembers it.

It was almost that good.  A really satisfying, simple, tangy flavor settled over the casserole, and the green beans were cooked down nicely.  I don't know about you, but green beans are one of the few green veggies I love cooked that far down.  Mm.  Greek comfort food.

So thanks, REI guy, for selling Dorothy a kick frame backpack and recommending this holiest of holes-in-the-wall.

* REI?  Obvies.  Where else would two vegans who are sick of vegans go?  Besides this hole-in-the-wall.

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