Last week the planets were aligned because I went to Bay Leaf for a business lunch and enjoyed it!
Before you get the wrong idea, there's nothing wrong with Bay Leaf, which is one of downtown Allentown's few dining options. But for a meat-and-potatoes girl like myself to venture into Bay Leaf's world of "New American & Asian Cuisine" and find something I like, that's a big deal.
Walking into Bay Leaf feels a bit like walking into a fine-dining lunch spot, something similar to what I've seen in Harrisburg. Because of their cuisine, the decor obviously has some Asian flair to it. The staff, dressed in what I'd call "waiter chic," were fantastic - they were pleasantly patient and professional with our large group of 11.
Looking at the lunch menu, I was worried because I saw a lot of shrimp and crab and other things that come from the sea - in other words, stuff I don't eat. I was relieved when I saw a bunch of chicken dishes, but those even threw me for a loop - a chicken sandwich with Thai chili mayo? Would I like that?
Everyone else's order had been taken and it was time for me to decide. By this time, I was so stressed out trying to find something on the menu to eat that when a colleague suggested the chicken de bananas, I ordered them even knowing what the dish entailed.
I wasn't disappointed. Nestled on a plate next to a pile of white rice were two (I think) small chicken breasts covered in a sweet honey sauce with banana slices, almonds and raisins. Honestly, it was the strangest combination of things I've ever eaten at one time, but I enjoyed it. Who knew that chicken and banana went together so well?
The moral of the story is: Bay Leaf is a beautiful restaurant that can satisfy even the pickiest eaters.
Have you been to Bay Leaf?