A fine day at work and I texted my wife to come walk to Caffe Trieste to meet me for merienda after work. She…agreed (and that ellipsis tells an entirely extra story).

After work we relaxed and had coffee (black espresso for me as I experiment with drinking this beverage sans cream and sugar) and then rather than cook, chose to visit Smoke Berkeley for a quick, shared bite of BBQ.

Rave reviews, apparently, but neither of us were greatly impressed with it. I mean, it was…good, I guess, but nothing to really go crazy over. My wife found it a bit pricey (8 oz brisket, side of beans, side of slaw, checkerboard square of dry cornbread, and a lemonade for $21) and in retrospect, I gots to agree.

The payoff, though, was the dessert I fashioned when we got home, using very fresh organic figs just bursting with goo, torn shreds of buffalo mozzarella (though any plain mozzarella could do), and a sauce of real balsamic vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and olive oil, all dusted with fresh thyme leaves (don’t forget a bit of salt and pepper).

Very fresh, very simple, and managed to cleans our palates quite well.