Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Stacey’s Fountain in Foley, AL

After we had lunch at 7 Spices (see below) in Mobile, we decided to take a Spring drive – yes, yes, it is spring now and then in FloraBama – and we head down to a place we love, Fairhope, AL, and then through Foley, AL to get to the beach road coming back in through Perdido Key. This route takes us right past a blast-from-the-past, an ice cream parlor so old timey it’s hard to believe it still exists.

Stacey’s Fountain is along highway 98 coming into Foley from Fairhope:

00StacysFountainExterior

Here is the menu. The sandwiches and the sundaes are old fashioned, in small containers, not all super-sized like today. We each had an ice cream sundae with chocolate sauce and felt like we hadn’t hurt ourselves too badly.

00StaceysFountainFoley

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February 23, 2015 Posted by | Chocolate, Food, Living Conditions, Road Trips | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

7 Spice Grocery and Grill in Mobile, AL

There is a lot to be said for advertising. As we watch the local news at night, we switch to Mobile after the Pensacola news is finished. Mobile has a town nearby called Pritchard, and we always love to hear what has happened in Pritchard – mysterious murders, drug overdoses, family incest – it’s all there, right in Pritchard.

Between stories are the Mobile ads, and some are hilarious. One, however, for 7 Spice Grocery and Grill caught my eye. They show shelves and shelves of Middle Eastern goods, and mention a restaurant, too.

Time for a field trip to Mobile!

7 Spice Grocery and Grill (FaceBook page)

3762 Airport Blvd, Mobile, AL 36608

(251) 725-1177

This is what 7 Spice looks like from the roadside:

007SpiceExterior

This is the interior. You walk all the way through the grocery, and at the back, it is like entering a Damascus restaurant. Indeed, one of the waiters was from Damascus, and the food is very Syrian
:
007SpiceInterior

The smells are divine. The smells coming from the kitchen are fresh meat being grilled, lamb, chicken, beef.

 

And we know we are at home. If you have read Walking Old Damascus, you will know we have loved traveling in Syria, and have loved Damascus for 35 – almost 40 years. Near our table is a hanging of the Roman Arch on The Street Called Straight; the last time we stayed in Damascus, at The Talisman, we stayed near this landmark, near Bab Thoma.

 


007SpiceDamascus

With every meal comes a lovely serving of addas – lentil soup. It was silky and lemony, the croutons were thin and crisp, it was so simple, so deliciously prepared:
007SpiceAddas

 

 

AdventureMan ordered the Shish Taouk, a chicken shish kabob. It came fresh and hot from the grill, crispy and irresistible:007SpiceShishTaouk

I ordered the appetizer plate; hummous, felafel, tabouli, baba ghannoush, little meat pies, stuffed grape leaves, and olives. Also a wonderful garlic aioli to dip into. AdventureMan shared some chicken with me, and I shared all these delicious tastes with him. They use a really good olive oil; it makes all the difference.
007SpiceAppetizerPlate

As we roll ourselves out of the restaurant, carrying more than enough for our evening meal, we have to walk past all the shelves in the grocery to get to our car. The prices are very reasonable and there are things I really need, like a whole bag of dried mint (have you ever tried making Middle Eastern food without dried mint? you need a LOT!) and chana dal, wonderful legumes, fig preserves, all kinds of little charcoals for braziers and big bags of henna . . .

007SpiceMarket1

 
There are wonderful Middle East restaurants also in Pensacola, but none like this. Worth a drive to Mobile to find this truly excellent restaurant on Airport Boulevard in Mobile.
 

 

007SpiceFoodShelves

February 23, 2015 Posted by | Cooking, Cultural, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Food, Restaurant, Road Trips | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”

Last week, we were in Atlanta, and stayed near a small town called Smyrna. We wondered several times where ancient Smyrna was, guessing Greece or Turkey. We were both right.

 

Today, the church remembers Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr of Smyrna. It is timely. There is a saying, the more things change, the more they stay the same (plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” – Alphonse Kerr) – and today, too, we are seeing people killed for what they believe, when they do not fall into step with the specific style of belief of the crowd. Oh, the things we do in God’s name!

The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today the church remembers Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr of Smyrna, 156.

Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna in what is now called Turkey, did not seek martyrdom and did not encourage others to do so. When persecution broke out, Polycarp made every honorable effort to protect his flock and himself. He even hid in the country but, eventually, the authorities found him.Since Christians worshiped Jesus Christ, an “unauthorized god,” and since they refused to worship the Roman gods or the “Divine Caesar,” they were considered atheists and subversives.

At a great public festival in the arena in Smyrna, Polycarp was presented to the governor amid cries of “Kill the atheist!” from the excited and unruly mob. The governor admonished Polycarp to swear by Caesar and to revile Christ and thereby save himself. The old bishop’s famous reply was, “For eighty-six years I have been his servant and he has done me no wrong; how can I blaspheme my King who has saved me? . . . You pretend not to know who I am; let me tell you plainly, I am a Christian. If you want to learn the doctrine of Christianity, set a day and hear me.”
Polycarp was publicly burned to death.The Christians in Smyrna who escaped death in this wave of persecution wrote a letter describing the execution of their great bishop and sent it to other churches. We still have this famous letter, “The Martyrdom of Polycarp.”May we always share the tidings of the King who has saved us. Amen.Read the Wikipedia article here.O God, the maker of heaven and earth, you gave your venerable servant, the holy and gentle Polycarp, boldness to confess Jesus Christ as King and Savior, and steadfastness to die for his faith: Give us grace, following his example, to share the cup of Christ and to rise to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

 

February 23, 2015 Posted by | Character, Circle of Life and Death, Civility, Community, Faith, Interconnected, Lectionary Readings, Living Conditions, Quality of Life Issues, Spiritual | , | Leave a comment