RESTAURANTS IN THE USA -
May 12, 2003
have been going to the Valley
Forge Historical Park pretty regularly since last September. I have seen
it in all it's colors and moods. Fall, winter and spring. It has always been an
interesting place to visit. Since it is warm again, the deer are back in
huge numbers. It is mid spring now, so the grass is lush green, and the
trees have more blossoms than leaves. I clicked this picture yesterday
afternoon, right after a very satisfying lunch at the Uduppi
I have lunch everyday, this one deserves a special mention. First of all, I
drove 40 minutes to get to this place. What's more. I even paid toll on the turnpike!!
This lunch really meant so much to me! Why? Because I am not sure, when I will get
to taste south Indian cuisine again. Although there are a good number of
Indian restaurants in the US, only a very small fraction of those serve
south Indian food. Blacksburg, for instance, has a pretty decent Indian
restaurant that serves only Punjabi style food. To get good Idlies
and Dosas, I will have to drive, a good four hours, to Washington D.C.
:: :: ::
you have been to one Indian restaurant in the US, you have been to all of
them. Although this observation is really true for the north Indian style
restaurants, many "southie" places fall into this category easily.
Even otherwise, the south Indian restaurants are a small minority and won't
shift the median all that much.
Indian restaurants have very strong ties with India of course. And that
shows in their names itself. References to "India", "Jaipur",
"Bombay", "Madras" and "Taj Mahal" are very
common. Then there are the ones with names from the Mughal vocabulary;
"Minar", "Nawaab", "Darbaar" and of course,
"Mughal". But these similarities make absolute sense. What
surprises me, are the colors chosen to paint these on name boards. Dark
brown on a cream background. Always.
you enter a restaurant, more clichés come to light. Every Indian restaurant
(and I am not exaggerating), seems to have the same kind of chairs! The
exact same model in fact! Notice this the next time you go to one.
restaurant has multiple wall paintings, depicting belly dancing in the royal
court, in some form or the other. I am sure if you look closely, half of
them will turn out to be duplicates. There is invariably a tabla or a
sitar mounted on the walls. Again, these things are understandable.
But what puzzles me, is the fact that all Indian restaurants play the same
music, round the clock.
am pretty sure there is some place, either here in the US, or back home in
India, where you can get an "Indian Restaurant Starter's Kit",
with the following contents.
Hindi to English
translation guide for cookery. (Example: Boondi Raita = Lentil Crispies in Yogurt)
Girl Seal. Put it anywhere. Menu card, Logo, Paper towels ...
of four Indian paintings. The Dancer, The Elephant, The Dancer and The
Elephant, The Elephant and The Dancer.
Golden Oldies -
Instrumental, 3 CD pack. Collectors copy.
One sitar and
one tabla (1 piece or 2 piece, customizable).