Finally, back to blogging! It seems that whenever I get in a groove of updating, something happens. This time, part-way into the Atlanta trip, my camera decided to stop transferring images. Which meant I needed to get a card reader. Best Buy, unfortunately, charges double what Amazon does, so it was really a smarter option to order it and wait for it to arrive. So here I am, a week later, finally able to update!
You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been playing around with the layout. I don’t like what’s going on with it right now, but after playing with one thing, it led to another and everything got all changed up. It’s back to the drawing board for me and time to learn CSS. So bear with me while I try to make some changes. For the time being, this is what I’ve got and it will do.
Also in other news, I have my diploma! On top of my bookshelf, stacked on top of my other diploma! Officially I am DONE with school! I’ve also started running again, which is extremely exciting, and I can’t wait to get my routine back on track. While I’d been training for a half marathon this spring, I needed to stop training in order for my body not to break down under the stress of working full time and going to graduate school full time. Now that I’ve cut out that major part of my life–the school–I can focus on everything else that’s important to me: actually cooking, exercising, and living my life to the fullest. So look for changes in the styles of posts as well as the development of the blog–I’m excited about having time and energy to put back into this space, I hope you’re up for the adventure!
But back to Atlanta. Oh, Atlanta. Monday night, May 16, a friend of mine from highschool met up with me at our favorite Indian restaurant from those days–Zyka. Zyka, unfortunately (I mean, fortunate for them, but you know), is closed on Mondays, so we headed across the street to my favorite South Indian restaurant, Udipi Cafe. No, not the Udipi in Pittsburgh, but a very similar one that I’ve been going to for years.
While Udipi used to be located around the corner, it’s new home is in a retooled Indian shopping center full of delicious grocery stores and restaurants, as well as clothing and other miscellany. It’s a bare bones place that focuses on the food: hot, spicy, layered dishes that make the most of vegetarian cuisine. It’s veg eating at it’s down-to-earth finest. No fancy tricks or fake meat, just spices and vegetables and starch.
The three of us (the high school friend has a lovely girlfriend who came along) shared a few menu items, and though we only ordered three dishes, we were stuffed by the end of the meal. To start with, we ordered the Sambar Vada–a lentil “donut” in a spicy sauce with some sort of chutney. If you’re sensitive to heat, I’d stay away from this, but I love a good kick to my food, so I was very pleased with the flavor the chilies lended to the dish.
Next came the Mysore Dosai–a thin spicy potato and onion filled crepe with several different accompanying sauces and chutneys. The yogurt, actually, was one of our favorites: fresh and tangy and perfect to tone down the heat. (Seriously, never let me order unless you want heat–I know exactly what I want, but I can guarantee if you’re like my mother, you won’t make it through the meal!). Bigger than my face, the dosai alone could have fed two of us. But I know the leftovers went to a good home.
But no Indian meal is complete without a curry, so at my friend’s request, I ordered us a paneer curry: Mutter Paneer (paneer with peas in a tomato based curry). Again, prepared perfectly and great with rice or naan. Or scooped up with some dosai as well. Not your Americanized curry, for sure–it comes as they prefer to prepare it–but that’s what makes it all the more delicious.
Udipi Cafe is a gem in Atlanta–well prepared delicious South Indian cuisine in a casual, comfortable setting. I really feel at home there, even if few people speak much English. My high school boyfriend, Anand, is Indian, and his mother, of course, invited me to dinner often. Dinner at their house was always an adventure–I never knew the names or ingredients in anything, but I would always eat what I was served, and it was always spicy and exciting and just what I wanted. Anand may have moved on to bigger and better things–he’s a photographer for National Geographic! Awesome!–but I’ve never forgotten the taste for spice that I developed through him. Udipi takes me back to those days–first love, adventures in food, and the beauty of it all.
1707 Church Street
Decatur, GA 30033