Stepping Up to Plate Tonight Is…Spanakopita & Sidekicks



Tonight’s special Easter plate appearance was made by Spanakopita, a stalwart Greek who frequently hangs out at diners across the U.S. Somewhat breaking with tradition, a smidge of kale mixes with his ancestral spinach but it hasn’t made him bitter in the slightest. How could he be when joined by Greek Yogurt and Honey Blend? Sweet, creamy, flaky and hearty, the two make a great pair.

Next up are Kale Chips and Spiced Sweet Potato Fries, both crisped in the oven rather than deep fried. They may be health fanatics but they’re always up for a veggie party.

As a fruit-heavy dessert, Farmer’s Cheese and Apple Phyllo Cup managed to snag an invite. Her slightly tart Granny Smith apple center is balanced with a bit of creamy farmer’s cheese and a few layers of delicate phyllo.

Happy Easter from Allspice & Ally!
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An Urban Oasis

Holiday Melodies + A Mediterranean Medley


“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and Sahara Restaurant

May I return to the beginning
Last April, I wrote my second post on this blog Monster Pizza + The Man Who Sold the World after attending a concert at the NJ State Theatre. And so why not end 2016 back at the theater for a musical and Mediterranean food?

It’s been quite a few years since I’ve seen “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” but it still remains one of my favorite musicals. The show might not be particularly long or dialogue-heavy but the songs are just so catchy! (The first time my parents saw JATD, they drove right to the record store to buy the soundtrack.)

And to complete our Christmas outing, we decided to go to Sahara Restaurant.

It was our second time eating at Sahara Restaurant and the food did not disappoint. The interior was just as cozy as before with candles and burgundy drapes but my favorite design element is the hot air balloon light fixture.



We started with the Vegetarian Combination appetizer— a delicious platter of hummus, eggplant salad, spiced ezme (mashed vegetables with walnuts and herbs) labhne (homemade sour cream with walnuts and herbs) and cauliflower dip.  Apparently it’s a very popular choice because while we were there, every table ordered one.


Served with warm pita bread, it’s a fantastic starter but at $22, it is definitely a splurge even considering the endless refills on bread.  The good news is that after sharing the combination platter with two or three other people and eating the red lentil soup that comes with most meals, you might be too full to eat your entrée.

Prepare for leftovers!


The first time I ate at Sahara, I ordered the Nile Chicken— a delicious concoction of chicken, eggplant, roasted red peppers and fresh mozzarella in a pink sauce. Unlike some restaurants, Sahara cooked the eggplant perfectly without a hint of bitterness. It was a melt-in-your-mouth kind of eggplant that I still daydream about once in awhile.


As tempted as I was to get the Nile Chicken again, I decided to explore the menu. After all, the Sahara Desert is about the size of the U.S. so why not be a little more of an adventurous during this culinary expedition?

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