I was looking forward to the Summer Solstice Gong Bath at The Red Shoes tonight. I finished work and did a short TRX workout so I could relax and ease my way into the weekend in a beautifully refreshing way. But when I drove up in the parking lot, there was only one vehicle. I knew something was up, and when I checked the website, the event had been postponed. I was so disappointed. I needed that today.
So, what to do on a Friday night when your plans fall through? It’s too hot to go for a long walk anywhere with Ashok. We are both sweating and panting our way through even our short walks these days. I decided to go by my favorite dinner place in Mid-City and grab some takeout. When the day calls for comfort food, Serop’s Express is where I head.
Serop’s Express was one of the first places I ate in Baton Rouge. It’s only about 4 blocks from my house and just about the same distance from my office. My friend Jean Ann took me there, and I remember we had a really great conversation where we caught up on the 30-odd years since we’d seen each other. It became a staple for me after that. They serve lots of well-prepared vegetables, it’s reasonably priced, and I can easily take it to-go if I’m in a hurry. It’s one of the few places in Baton Rouge where my vegetarian options are truly amazing.
Last November, Serop – the grandson of the original Serop – told me that they were closing at the end of the year. I panicked! Not only did I eat there for lunch quite a bit, it is also my favorite dinner spot. He reassured me that they were just rebuilding in a newer, nicer facility. They ended up staying open longer than the end of the year, but early this year they did indeed close. I watched the new building go up and anxiously anticipated their opening which finally occurred on June 1. I was there on Day 1. And, to my delight, they now stay open until 8 PM.
Serop’s Express is a fast-food style restaurant with a buffet of freshly-made salads, spreads, meats and cooked vegetables. Truly everybody can find something they like, and they claim to be the originator of the wildly popular Chicken Schawarma. The original Serop (which is a first name not a last) died in 2009. But, before that, he could always be seen sitting in the restaurant that bore his name. His son ran the business portion of the restaurant, and he was the food expert. He was new to this country, but took on the challenge of opening the first restaurant in 1979 – the year I graduated high school and moved away. After awhile, he decided to try his hand at fast food, and my favorite Serop’s Express was born.
The young Serop, his father and a family friend were working there tonight as I quizzed them with questions for this blog. There are still a couple of full-service restaurants and five Serop’s Express locations (at least that’s what I can tell from Facebook!). The fact that they just rebuilt their location on Jefferson tells me they are still going strong. That makes me happy because I will continue to need my fix. While they were gone, I longed for my favorite mujadara with grecian sauce, creamed spinach, sauteed eggplant and green beans and tomatoes. Yum Yum!! I had half a meal tonight, and I’ll have the rest tomorrow.