Lunch with Brian

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Umami Mia, July 17, 2013

Brian had pizza on the mind, so I suggested we try Umami Mia, a new restaurant in the building where my former favorite restaurant, Romeo's, used to be. I thought Romeo's closed so someone could build a new high rise condo because Austin doesn't have enough of those. I was wrong. The building spawned a new restaurant.

The first thing that caught our attention was the menu. The dishes are listed on a subway map. It reminded us of this time at work when someone designed an intranet home page that looked like a subway map. To click through to a section of the website, you had to find it along a route on the map. The designer thought it was great. The users didn't. Luckily for Umami Mia, their menu wasn't as complicated as that website so we didn't have trouble using it.

I was pleased they had a gluten free menu. The gluten free menu was smaller than the regular menu. I guess because they took the gluten out.

Side note: One time Brian and I went to a fondue restaurant. I was handed a menu that said "GF Menu". At the time, I wasn't hip to the gluten free way of eating, so I didn't know what GF stood for. Studying the menu for clues, I noticed it had no prices. Brian's menu had prices. Aha! I was tickled and told Brian they thought we were on a date because they had given me the girlfriend (GF) menu sans prices.

Back at Umami Mia, we ordered crispy mozzarella to start. It came with pickled stuff (carrots, onions, cucumber). It was good, but there wasn't enough cheese and pickles to warrant the $8.95 price.

Brian ordered a crispy chicken sandwich (bacon, watercress apple blue
cheese slaw, honey and chili flakes). He had a choice of side (veggie salad or gaspacho) and he chose the veggie salad. When the waiter brought it, I exclaimed "Wow!" because of how it looked.

Umami Mia Sandwich

Brian approved.

I ordered a gluten free mushroom pizza (Umami tomato sauce, wood roasted mushrooms, carmelized onions, Texas goat cheese, roasted garlic and balsamic reduction). I was happy with the crispy crust and the mix of toppings was delicious. It also had a good amount of mozzarella.

Umami Mia - Pizza

I approved.

Brian and I discussed the meaning of "umami", the fifth taste. You know... sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami. I'd only heard about umami within the last year. Another word for it is savory. Brian said soy sauce and glutamates have the umami flavor. He said mushrooms do, too, and that's why it's a good substitute for meat in vegetarian dishes.

There was a white board with specials written on it. It had a section for dessert, but it was confusing. There were three things there, and two of them were not dessert-like at all (one had prosecco and prosciutto). The item that seemed to actually be a dessert had figs and vanilla, but that didn't pique my interest. I was in the mood for something salty and sweet after all that savory umami.


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