Monday, March 07, 2005

in which we do restaurants instead of movies!

[march 04, 2005]

It began with a visit to the new Indian restaurant (unimaginatively called Desi Spice) in Midtown. Safely housed atop Après Diem in the Midtown Promenade along with Midtown Art Cinema a ton of other restaurants including Royal Orchid. Cramped but yet promising, the place then proceeded to go to hell. The menu, despite this being an Indian restaurant, was strictly 99% non-vegetarian. On any other day, I might not have been so affected. But this was Lent. And I had chosen to skip meat altogether. NOTE: It is only in the US of A that a resolution like this (which may be implemented without much ado or grief back home in India) can prove to be a challenge. The sizzler menu looked like something promising. ASIDE: As always, the percentage of Americans frequenting a desii restaurant is always useful when determining how "good" the place might be. This was a more-American-fewer-Indian place. We asked the manager about their vegetarian selection. "We have many vegetables here" (or something similar) was his response. There was a growing desire to see his head turn into a rotting cabbage. Muttering silent pardons and suppressing laughter, we noted that the selections were actually rather limited, making it difficult for us to want to stick around. We asked about the sizzlers (NOTE: everyone shared the reluctance to just walk out -- I think it's rude to walk out of a restaurant on any whim, but YMMV). We asked if they could convert one of their sizzlers to a vegetarian one (the "closest-match/least-effort" approach). He vigorously shook his head, and began uttering words to the effect that this was un-doable and implying that walking out was the only option we had. As we arose, he even added an afterthought "have you ever heard of a vegetarian sizzler?" At this point, as we walked out, I began to fantasize him as a despoiled wrinkled flaccid overgrown eggplant being attacked by an army of maggots who had just walked through the city sewage line. The smile on my face was inevitable. Returning to this dump is almost out of the question (if only for service and a complete lack of awareness of the domain).

The hungry stomach accepts no other respite but food. Despite this failure, the enthusiasm to try out a new place was still alive. So the next stop was Chowpatty (I disagree with this spelling, as with the spelling of the name of another Indian eatery Chat Patti, but that's of little consequence). There used to be another mini eatery where this place now sits -- in a strip in Decatur along with Mirch Masala and Sona Imports (among others). The gujaraatii thaalii was a well-priced option, but every order was cold, uninviting and (even if you made the leap of faith) hardly great shakes. Another thumbs down. For a similar setup, try Daabha over a year ago (sadly, they've moved to a restaurant mode of operation instead of the pay-and-collect cafeteria mode).

The final stop for the evening, if only to guarantee familiarity-based satisfaction and relief, was the over-hyped crowded Madras Sarvana Bhavan. Desserts were in order, but my chickoo milkshake looked more like the slime that put paid to the sorry lonely life of Jordy Verrill, and tasted like aspirated sandpaper. The replacement was on the house but not an adequate emollient. With three strikes, it was time to call it quits.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.