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Clare of Assisi - Nun (1253)
Last night I met some friends at The Garlic Rose, a restaurant in Madison, N.J. whose nickname is "The Rose City". As the name suggests, the lowly bulb figures rather heavily in the menu. While this seemed somewhat off-putting at first to those of us who did not grow up believing everybody's kitchen smelled like that, I'm here to tell you that there's nothing to be afraid of. When cooked whole, garlic cloves do not overpower whatever they are in, and in fact can be eaten as-is or spread on bread, as the hosts are glad to demonstrate to the squeamish by providing a few roasted bulbs for free when you first sit down.
Our entrees ranged from three-cheese ravioli to roasted chicken. Nothing you'd call "diet food" but everything was wonderful. I was glad to have friends who are as adventurous about food as I am.
Then we got to dessert. Among the more routine offerings, they naturally (?) have... garlic ice cream. This isn't my first encounter with strange flavors of that all-American confection: for years, Gerenser's in downtown New Hope, PA, had hundreds of flavors including African Violet. I never was brave enough to try that one, and I have heard they don't offer nearly as many choices as they used to.
This night, too, was not to become an expansion of my confectionery repertoire. We voted to head to Cafe Beethoven in nearby Chatham, N.J. only to discover that they stopped serving at 9 p.m., and thus ended up at the (sorry, guys) vastly disappointing local Carvel. I mean, it's still ice cream; even if it's not great, it's still pretty good.
But next time I'm holding out for the garlic.