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Not Put Asunder, 14 Years and Counting

Us and Rocky!

From our return to Philadelphia last week. We were one of three couples taking turns taking each other’s photos with Rocky Balboa.

It’s that time again! Another year of shockingly blissful marriage to the amazing Anne, another anniversary dinner to celebrate. We just got back from our 2018 road trip a few days ago and have yet to recover fully, but we refuse to let fatigue and battle damage hamper our personal festivities. As I’ve mentioned before, maybe it’s best not to brag too proudly, but fourteen years is no easy feat in a world of increasingly disposable relationships that’s maybe two or three steps away from inventing drive-thru divorces and frequent-philanderer reward programs.

Dinner this year was at a relatively new place down the street called Kaza Maza, quite possibly the first Moroccan/Mediterranean cuisine ever to grace our side of town. Other than some issues with the Coke Zero, we wouldn’t change a thing about the evening. ‘Twas a fine place to celebrate love and marriage and to forget about the part where we had to return to our day jobs this week.

Behold the feast, modest yet mighty, for it is over this very meal that we had the pleasure of reaffirming matrimony.

Kaza Maza!

Located in a deceptively boring-looking strip mall. It’s bigger on the inside.

Falafel!

Falafel! Deep-fried chickpea balls served with a savory yogurt dip.

Tilapia!

I thought this was grilled halibut, but there’s no halibut listed on the photos I took of their menu, so apparently this is tilapia. I’d just ask Anne if she weren’t asleep right now.

Lamb with Prunes!

“Lamb with prunes” sounded so daring that I had no choice but to try it. It’s a tagine, slow-cooked in a clay pot, with an onion sauce topped with sesame seeds and possibly almonds. Literally the greatest prune dish of my entire life.

baklava!

Anne’s dessert: that Greco-Mediterranean classic, baklava in varied forms.

mahalabiya!

My dessert: mahalabiya — a Middle Eastern milk pudding topped with orange blossom water.

…and then we came home in time for our nightly Jeopardy! fix. Thus endeth the old folks’ party.

Anne and I often bemoan the fact that we live on a side of Indianapolis where independent and/or family-owned restaurants are few and far between, outnumbered 100-to-1 by national and international chains. We were nearly the only customers they had all night long, except for a mom and her toddler picking up some takeout. Meanwhile across the street, the Red Lobster was packed as usual even on a Tuesday night. (Curiously, the Olive Garden’s parking lot was less than half full. They must have run out of breadsticks.)

We can’t eat at places of this caliber every day, but we like to play cheerleader for them wherever possible, in hopes that other local food fans will show up, give them a try, and enjoy the same experience. If they also get a happy marriage out of following in our footsteps, so much the better.

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