Dubai, take 2

Oh, Dubai. I'm not sure what there is to say about this place. You've all probably heard that it's like "Vegas on steroids." I'll sum it up with these words: if you don't enjoy massive malls or excessive consumption, it ain't for you. Luckily, I have one very compelling reason to visit Dubai often -- my adorable nephew. Oh - and, amazingly delicious food. I wrote about Dubai from my previous trip, and this time around, I visited some new restaurants.

Here's what I ate on day one:

In many Middle Eastern restaurants, you'll be served a variety of olives and pickles. There's something so delicious about these pickles, and I haven't been able to find any quite like them in the U.S. I still crave the ones I had in Dubai as well as in Israel - they're perfectly tart, with a good amount of crunch, and mouth-puckeringly salty - but I just love them.

Next, fattoush - a simple salad of veggies sprinkled with sumac and lemon and fried pita chips (great way to use up old pitas):

And of course, what meal would be complete with hummus - just look at those gorgeous stewed chickpeas sitting in that pool of golden olive oil:

We shared this mixed grill of meats - so delicious! In the lower right-hand corner of this picture, you'll notice a creamy white dip. It's a garlic dip that I could literally slather over myself - it's that good. It's a lot like skordalia, and it's impossible to find in the U.S. Needless to say, I load up on it anytime I'm in the Middle East (enough to scare away any vampire for miles).

Seafood is incredibly fresh and plentiful in Dubai. Though we didn't have any at this meal, I couldn't help take a few pictures:

 Great start to the trip. More to come.

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