Saturday, January 24, 2015

Senegal is on Fire

My husband jokes that my blog has killed most of the restaurants that I've visited. Not true: I can't be held accountable for the challenges of the restaurant industry, but it is the case that a few places I've visited have closed and a lot of places I've wanted to visit closed before I had the chance. Still, what happened when we visited Chez Dior took the cake. It took a long while for us to get around to going to Chez Dior, mostly because it's in Hyattsville, which is a bit of a hike from Chez Us, but last Sunday we decided to make the trek.  All was well - the toddler napped on the way there, we had no trouble finding the restaurant, and at first glance, Hyattsville seemed nicer/more interesting than I had expected. So we entered the restaurant and sat down. Literally minutes later - we hadn't even gotten menus or water or a hello from the establishment - several people came running out of the kitchen yelling "fire, call 911!" None of the other (Senegalese?) customers looked remotely troubled, but as responsible parents ... we grabbed our stuff and went back out to the street. One of the diners did mention that it was probably just an oven fire and would be out in no time. However, minutes later, ten - no exaggeration - fire trucks rolled up, sirens blazing. With the belief that once the fire department has been called, a restaurant can't reopen until the health department declares it safe, and our excited-by-all-the-woowoos-but-on-the-verge-of-fussiness/starvation toddler in tow, we decided that a Senegalese lunch was not in the cards and ate at Franklin's, which I am very sorry to report was not only not at all Senegalese, but also really ordinary and not very good. My husband had The Day After Thanksgiving sandwich, which can be a thing of beauty, but depends heavily on good gravy (at least if you are going to douse it in gravy, it does) and this gravy was pretty gluey and not very turkey-ey. I hate huge menus and I hate them even more when I am trying to choose something while wrangling a wriggly toddler. I ordered a sandwich with the ridiculous name of Open-Faced Mediterranean Vegetarian Flatbread Thing (I also hate ridiculously named menu items), which was oily and because my toddler's idea of cooking is literally dumping things (i.e., he gets to dump a cup of flour in the mixing bowl when we make bread), he could have made this because all they did was warm up an industrial piece of pita bread and dump some oily packages of cheap marinated artichokes, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, etc. on it. I will say that Franklin's is also a general store and we had a lot of fun poking around the store, especially the toy section.

So, while it pains me greatly, Hyattsville is just not a corner of the world I make it to very often. Maybe I'll find myself up there again and can update this review...but in case I don't, I'll be moving along to Serbia in the interest of keeping the ball rolling ....

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