Lately, like many other people, R. and I have not been going out to eat very much. We are wary about the future of the economy in this country, and for that matter, the world, so we are trying to save as much as we can, something we haven't been too good at in recent years.
Taking care of my parents and managing their money has made it easier to see the long view on one's finances, and though we never had very much (no home, for example, that belongs to us), we have more than many as far as income goes, so we should try to conserve some of it.
But after the hike this past Sunday, on that hot day, when I wanted nothing more than to eat and go home and wash my hair and sweaty, creepy-crawly self, we went out to eat at a new Indian restaurant a few blocks from our house called Annapurna.
The restaurant had just opened up three days before, so we were the only customers there. The waiters continually swept by the table carrying freshly steamed Idlis, lovely crisp dosas to be dipped in the curry or chutney or raita, and wonderful, fresh Naan, hot, steamy, and still glistening with ghee.
The a la carte menu, which I glanced at briefly, was not yet available, so we forked out some extra dough for the buffet. Like most Indian buffets, this one was fairly pricey, though worth what we paid, certainly. It was separated into two parts: vegetarian and non-vegetarian, and there were ample choices on both sides. Everything (just about) was excellent--not so spicy that one couldn't swallow a mouthful (and I've had Indian food like that) and not wimpy either. The fried idli, filled with an unidentified, savory and unctuous filling, was toothsome as a starter, especiallly along with the various and sundry vegetarian curries, the names of which I did not note. I didn't try all of them; there were simply too many. I'll have to go back another time, but I'll bet that as the seasons change, these will change as well. The meat bar had two kinds of chicken dish, rich and tender, one lamb, and a coconut chutney that was wonderful. There was a lovely rice pudding, and though this is usually not one of my favorite dishes, I liked this version, which was subtle and fragrant, and various fruits for dessert.
Though I know that more people will join us the next time we come (at least I hope so for the future of this restaurant), it will always feel like my private place, partly because we were there at the beginning and because of its small, cozy size and milieu.
I am looking forward also to the promised Indian-spiced Chinese dishes that the owner told me he would be carrying soon, and the various stuffed dosas listed on the a la carte menu, which were very very reasonable and alluring.