Monday, August 06, 2007

Something I Didn't Expect

This afternoon Michele wasn't feeling well, so I left her at home while I ran some errands. I was determined to find something to eat that was interesting, and since Michele wasn't with and wasn't hungry in any event, I didn't have to worry about her delicate stomach or her line-in-the-sand-type food hangups. If I wanted I could get a big, sloppy cheeseburger or the most toxic Mexican this side of Tijuana. I could have gotten deep-fried barbeque calves' brains if I could find them (and if I was totally insane). So I had my eyes peeled for something interesting.

What I didn't expect to find was a really good Indian restaurant. I was pulling into the parking lot at Blockbuster (to return the Narnia movie) and I looked between the trees, to the other end of the strip mall. A green sign read "Taste of India." I was surprised, because we had come by this mall a few dozen times in the last three weeks and hadn't noticed that sign.Hoping that it was a restaurant and not a grocery store (like the one nearer campus that advertises hookah pipes and belly dancing as well as a full selection of Indian groceries) I wandered over. The menu looked great and there was some indication that take-out was available, so I went in.

Inside, two men were relaxing. One, an older gent in a turban and traditional Indian clothes, sat at a table eating a yogurty substance. The other, who wore a white Oxford shirt and black slacks, was stretched out on a blanket on the floor taking a nap. He sprang to his feet when I walked in and he said he'd have my food ready in ten minutes.In figuring what to order I now had a dilemma--Michele wasn't hungry, and she wasn't expecting food, but if I came home with Indian takeout and there wasn't enough for her to try, my life expectancy could shrink a bit. So I did what I could.

I ordered chicken curry, Aloo Paratha (a wheat bread stuffed with potatoes and spiced peas), and Gulabjamun, described on the menu as "cinnamon flavored pastry balls, soaked in sweet syrup flavored with rose water, sprinkled with pistachio." The man did not lie--the food was ready in ten minutes. When he rang up my purchase he said, "You're not from around here. Michigan?" I hadn't said much--the guy was pretty good with accents.

I also realized while I was waiting that their hours of operation were 11:00 am to 2:30 pm and from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm. I had wandered in at about 4:15. What a dunce was I. So I apologized for disrupting their schedule and thanked them for accomodating me. I also tipped them something like 25%. And then I took my food and went home.

The food was amazing. Michele especially appreciated the basmati rice that came with the curry, and we could only eat two of the three gulabjamun--they're great, but man are they sweet. Imagine a cold doughnut hole that's so saturated with liquid it's heavy. The syrup was thin and subtly sweet--not cloying at all.

The people at Taste of India will see me again. They have an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet.

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