Friday, October 21, 2011

You like Dosai?

Today I find myself alone.  Since I walked the little one to school this morning, I've been essentially without people.  Don't get me wrong.  I like some alone time.  I can think.  I can plan.  I can write.  I can do things that no one else wants to do.  Like eat Indian food. 

Neil is about the only person who will engage in Indian cuisine with me, but since it's few and far between that we get to have lunch together or even go out at night these days, I usually only get Indian when I'm by myself.  Days like today.  There is an Indian restaurant near my office called Bombay Grill.  It's been there awhile, but I haven't found the time to go there.  All of my Indian friends tell me this is the best place in town.  That's where they go.  So, today that's where I went.

I'm sitting here typing to you with a very happy demeanor.  My lunch was fantastic.  Like so many ethnic restaurants anymore, they serve a lunch buffet.  Which is fine with me actually because it allows you to try things you haven't had and get adventurous. Today I chose lentils and chicken tikka masala which I put over basmati rice.  I had one vegetable pakora and something I've never seen was a vegetable pancake.  This is probably meant to be eaten with a chutney (which I finally learned more about today.) Another new dish for me was green beans tossed with a spicy tomato-based mixture.  It was a sauce I guess, but not in a liquid sauce sense.  The spices were subtle but definitely had some kick.  And of course, I had a piece of naan.  Theirs was just the way I like it too.  Crisp edges but soft texture inside.  Yum with a capital Y.

Then came the question:  "You like dosai?"

A nice gentleman approached my table and posed this question to me.  I looked at him thoughtfully and replied "I don't know."  To this he replied "You don't know?"  So, I said, "No, think I should try it?" and he smiled, gave me a subtle nod and off he went.  This is the kind of thing that gets me pumped. I had no idea what was going to arrive at  my table and I could hardly contain myself.  When he came back, he placed a plate on the table with a folded, thin, crispy rice crepe that was as long as the plate was wide.  I peeked inside to see that it was filled with a vegetable puree.  I stared at it.  Hmmm.  Do I pick it up?  Do I cut it with a fork?  Do I fold it up and stuff it in my mouth?  I opted for the fork. (Sorry I didn't think to snap a photo as I was deep in thought over how to approach this thing.)

Wow!  This was really good.  I learned later from the nice lady at the front desk that I had the dosai masala, which is mashed potatoes and onions and (I assume) flavored with garam masala.  She gave me lots of pointers for how to couple the dosai with different sauces, chutneys and sambar next time I come in.  I also learned that the chutneys are meant to be eaten with the "finger foods" such as pakora.  

So for a modest $8.95 I had a very satisfying lunch, tried 3 new dishes, learned more about Indian food and got all this accomplished in under a half hour.  Like my Indian friends, I can say that I recommend Bombay Grill as well.  And, do I like dosai?  Yes. Yes I do.  
Bombay Grill on Urbanspoon

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