Job perk: I meet lovely, lovely, people.
It may be the charming Ethiopian man who told me the history of coffee (seriously!). It may be the adorable lady who had me consult which cake slices were “most famous” to put together for a dessert tray.
However, the lovely person I refer to today is… Mr. J. (His name starts with a J… and rather than spell it atrociously, I’m approximating). He is a frequent visitor to my bakery as well as the owner of one of my favorite local eat in/take out places, Punjab Dhaba.
It is a laid back sort of place with Indian prints on the walls; locals, Indian and non, hangin’ out; Bollywood playing in the background; and intensely great Indian food.
J. mentioned owning Punjab Dhaba at the bakery picking up some treats, and I went “I loooooove that place!” (It’s about two blocks from where I went to high school and was a lifesaver on nights when no one in my family felt like cooking- particularly great for veggies during Lent!)
He went “Come!” and promised all of their best stuff.
So I went! And brought a friend, the lovely Maya, who has definitely graduated from Blog Friend to just Friend.
We arrived and J. asked what we liked. We informed him we’d like to dine vegetarian and he disappeared to the back of the kitchen and then hooked us up!
On the left are two paneer dishes; on the bottom is wonderfully seasoned spinach, atop is I guess what’s known as butter paneer (the vegetarian version of butter chicken?) It’s like creamy tomato soup Indian-ified… rich, flavorful, and unfrigginbelievably luscious.
Rounded out with, obvi, basmati rice
I will never make basmati rice taste as good as an Indian restaurant does.
And naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan oh my sweet naan.
Theirs has crispness and chewiness; denseness and flakiness; all in the same bread.
That was a TON of food (we finished… half? Between the two of us? Maybe?)
Yet my pal Mr. J. was not finished yet, and urged us to try these potato thingies:
Like the love child of a samosa and a hash brown pattie. Insane. Insane times infinity when doused in raita (ohhhhh yesssss)
I didn’t bother with closeups on either of the curries. Perhaps the unattractive orange and green mush in the background of the shot give you an idea why :D
As usual, Maya and I had a fantastic chat about every manner of topic, food blogger related and non. Three hours or so seems to be about standard for blogger meetups.
And then I was out the door with the perfect ending to an Indian meal, fennel seeds!