Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Gastronomical Symphony in Two Parts

On Sunday, I ate a plethora of amazing food. I want a time machine specifically so I can go back to Sunday, freak out my earlier self and earlier Spousal Unit, and sneak food off of both their plates. It's totally possible, because last night I watched yet another episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation that involved time travel. If it's that common in the future, I think I'm entitled to at least one instance of time travel in my life.

These pancakes are enough to make me want it to be for last Sunday. Don't they look incredibly amazing?

Spousal Unit made them. For those who don't know, Spousal Unit claims he can only make pasta and lasagna, but when I asked for pancakes, he made me the best damn pancakes I've ever had.

(This is probably the only instance where I would say, "Are these cakes hot? Then I will take ALL of them!")

He's been holding out on me. When I praised his culinary prowess and he gave the credit to being an Eagle Scout, I thought he was joking. But apparently Eagle Scouts make lots of pancakes when they go camping. He's totally making the pancakes from now on.

I wonder what else he can make that he's been keeping from me. Definitely not grilled cheese, because he can burn that to a crisp like nobody's business.

In the evening, we got all fancy and took a generous gift certificate from our friends to Maharaja for Indian food.

The restaurant is in a strip mall, and looks like it would be a greasy spoon. But it's quite elegant and beautiful inside, with some gorgeous tapestries on the walls and wonderful Indian music. When Spousal Unit and I sat down, the host put napkins in our laps and everything. Yes, my lap felt a little bit invaded, but it was still a nice touch of class that you don't see much anymore. Now that I can expect it next time, my lap will be more prepared.

Maharaja has a plethora of vegetarian options, but we wanted to try lots of yummy things and couldn't decide. So we got the vegetable dinner for two. Spousal Unit got Darjeeling tea; I got chai masala. Both excellent choices.

To start, we had two appetizers. I can't remember what anything was called, unfortunately, so I'll call these fried rice/chickpea dumplings. They had some amazing spices. To the back left is a crispy kind of bread/cracker that we ate with three different sauces: one dark and sweet, one tangy green, and one with red peppers and tomatoes. They had a little bite, but were mostly sweet.

I was already amazed. Then came the main course.

WOW, right? Nan (Indian bread) and three different curries/sauces to go with the rice. The green one at the top of the picture was spinach with tofu - really, really good tofu. Very firm and flavorful. The yellow one in the middle was tangy, with some kind of vegetable patty in the sauce, kind of like egg foo young. The orange one on the bottom was a more traditional curry, and the most spicy one of the bunch.

We were allowed to pick mild, medium, or hot curry and chose medium, which was perfect. I can't handle too much spice (Norwegian, duh) and J likes his really hot. He didn't even put hot sauce on his, and my mouth didn't get burned.

The waiter was very amused by my taking pictures of food.

As we ate, we couldn't help but compare it to our old favorite restaurant in New Mexico, which went out of business. The flavors in each of the dishes complimented each other, but were so radically different from one bite to the next that our taste buds virtually screamed, "WHOA! I thought that last curry was good, but this one is incredible!"

We dubbed it a gastronomical symphony of epic proportions. And we hadn't even had the final movement yet: dessert.

On the right is mango ice cream. Light, fruity, delicious. On the left is kulfi - ice cream made with saffron. The spices were palpable, and reminded me of chai. There was a hint of mint too, I think. Spousal Unit doesn't like mint ice cream, but he ate it all - after I had a few bites, of course. We loved them both. Plus, they're little cubes! Nomulous.

All told, our meal came out to less than $40 (not including tip). For two appetizers, three main dishes, dessert, and beverages (and enough left over for lunch), that's pretty good for a fancy restaurant. The staff was really nice, too.

This is totally our new favorite restaurant.


  1. BTW, the mango ice cream is on the left, not the right. On the right is the kulpi, not kulfi. You're such a bilagaana.

  2. I think the fried dumpling things are pakoras.

    Glad you guys had fun! : )


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