Over the weekend we were planning to go out for dinner, and when my wife asked me to pick a place, instantly my mind was screaming Genghis Grill. I think at times my mind needs a refresher, it needs to read the “lives in” part from my facebook page, it needs to realize that I am no longer in Fort Worth or Chandler, I am right here in Bangalore.
I have always wanted to live in India, and sulked at having been sent to befriend uncle sam, making sure I get on the plane back home as soon as possible. Unknowingly my love for food there seems to have sneaked into my baggage, and I seem to miss some of the things I enjoyed eating when I was in the US. After going through the list below, I am sure if not you, I will be left drooling.
Genghis Grill: Choosing the ingredients, and their quantities is the major portion of cooking, and what fun if you have to do it when you dine out?, well man was I proved wrong, with every visit the sauces and the spices grew on me, I would invariably end up planning at the end of a meal what I would change when I visit this place again. I seriously hope someone in Bangalore picks up a franchisee.
Chipotle: My friend introduced to this chain, and I have been a fan ever since. Named after a smoked chilly, this chain is one amongst the very common in the leagues of MacD and BK, just that it sells mexican cuisine. Their vegetarian burrito bowl is my favorite, the blend of cilantro rice, guacamole, sour cream and salsa, it precisely knows which taste bud to tickle.
Sweet Tomatoes: Being a vegetarian, this place was a delight, they serve have a huge buffet of salads soups and desserts. The first time I went to this place, I was like a kid in the candy store. My plate was completely filled with food and ended up wasting most of it. Second time around I was better prepared, having skipped breakfast, knowing what and how much exactly to eat.
Eggplant Parmigiana in Olive Garden: I am not a big fan of OG as it is popularly known, for once it is always crowded, and somehow it gave me a feeling that I didn’t belong there. However they made me go back to them, only for one disk “Eggplant Parmigiana”, I think I can never forget the feeling of the crisp yet soft feel of eggplant with all the herbs on my tongue.
One of the reasons why OG was not my favorite place, was because of the number of small Italian diners around everywhere. Mostly owned by Italian families who migrated to the states long back, they have a very homely feel to the place. They usually have that personal touch when they talk to you, and are fun to go to. I used to love the baked casseroles in most of these places.
Living in states closer to the south border, I had the opportunity to visit a number of Mexican chain restaurants, Most of them have a similar menu, and Tacos and Quesadillas were always fun. I really enjoyed tasting the guacamole and the salsa at these places. Taco Cabana, Los Molcajetes, Si Senor, Baja Fresh, there are tonnes of mexican places to eat.
For the first time ever I was exposed to soups in bread bowls. The idea of drinking the soup and finishing the container along with it kind of excited me. I later discovered various combinations of breads and soups. I really hope this catches on in India.
The concept of pizza buffets was very new to me. Even though the vegetarian options in such buffets are very less, if the group is slightly bigger you can get yourself a bunch of treats. At 5 to 10$ this was a very economical feast to splurge in.
Apart from the food places, couple of snacks too are badly missed. One being Pop Tart, it was my staple after work snack, specially chocolate fudge flavor. Apart from pop tarts, the cheddar crackers which used to be stuffed at my desk are being sorely missed. I surely miss the salty cheezy taste of these crackers.
Krispy Kreme. The name seems to be straight out of Ekta Kapoor’s stable. True to the name, krispy layer of sugar on a glazed hot soft donut has almost become like a legend among the doughnut fans. Even though there have been a bunch of doughnut makers in Bangalore now, there has been none to close to this one
Speaking of the food, how can the drink be left behind. I miss the frozen margaritas from On the border, the frozen delight which used to take almost 30/45 minutes to finish was my favorite drink for a relaxed weekend dinner. I used to also love the chocolate shakes which the popular chain Wendy’s used to dish out, priced at less than a $, it was true worth for the money.
When I go grocery shopping here, I miss the isles and isles of six-pack. I miss the bud-lights and the Samuel Adams blondes.