Adventures in Eating & Cooking
It was a calm misty noon when Steff and I went to lunch at the Academic Building, a small building that appears inconspicuous next to the bright letters of the adjacent Drexel Pizza. Yet you can’t get through Drexel without having had at least one class in it. It might be that one obscure art class you took on a whim, or one of those annoying speaking/writing classes.
When the elevator doors opened to the sixth floor, the whole notion of classroom disappeared. The atmosphere was both elegant and cozy, like the first night in a hotel of a foreign city. There was a bar room with wooden high chairs; a bright dining hall decked in regal red carpet, white tablecloth, and flowers; and a hallway leading to it all.
We were seated at a high table displaying a fist worth’s bouquet of yellow roses. White cloudy light spilled into our empty glasses before the waitress poured our iced tea. A pitcher of sugary syrup was provided for us to sweeten our respective teas to our personal liking.
The first course was simple and clean, chicken noodle soup— suited to combat the nippy weather. The meat was cooked tenderly and the vegetables retained a slight crisp. The broth was especially cozy; if only there were more of it. I thought the soup-to-chunks of food ratio was on the low side.
The entree consisted of a buttermilk fried chicken that embodied the moral to not judge a book by its cover. The chicken appeared blackened, hard, and possibly overcooked but tasted like quite the contrary. The meat inside was white, juicy, and very tender. The fried spice flavoring seasoned the exterior pleasantly.
The haricot verts were brushed with a rich buttery flavor that brought out the vegetable’s crispness. I am sorry to say I did not enjoy the macaroni & cheese as it was rather tasteless and dull.
The dessert was probably the most delicious course though. It was a strawberry-rhubarb tart a la mode with cinnamon ice cream. Although I still think the cinnamon ice cream from Landmark was the best, this one wasn’t bad either. However, it was the tart that stole the spotlight. The crust provided a firm base for the tart, fruity strawberry filling. The balance of sweetness with sour was very refreshing, bringing out the natural taste of the strawberry fruit.
After the meal, we were served some complimentary tea and coffee with pitchers of milk and sugar. And none of it cost a single penny. Actually the whole meal didn’t even cost anything, except a few minutes to fill out some surveys on the experience. I would gladly cough up a few bucks to enjoy a meal here again though, as this is a great place to have lovely lunches and meaningful conversations.