People love me because I take them out to dinner. No, it's OK, I know they also value my sparkling wit and the fact that I drink. And then, after the drinking, I tend to get a little gossipy and snarky. It's all fun.
And yet, I felt like I should bring a new high-mindedness to the eating, some new enlightenment. So when I had to go visit Dancing Ganesha last week, I brought some friends from yoga—because we are all on a journey, edible or otherwise. I've been totally seduced by The Practice and have come to crave my yoga sessions at Catherine's studio. Plus, her dad is Indian, so she was a shoo-in.
It was quiet when we sat down, but Vincent, one of the owners, was lovely and paid us a lot of attention, calling us by name and thanking us for coming. Love that. We started with a round of mango mojitos because enlightenment needs greasing, along with some snacks. Veggie samosas were good and crispy, the chard and watercress pakoras were a little hard but earthy and flavorful. The dahi wada is a lentil dumpling in yogurt sauce, but we couldn't get past the State Fair mini-donut flavor.
I think it was Catherine who first noticed the water. The skunky, moldy, algae-lovin' water. We didn't know then that it wasn't their fault. But shockingly, they didn't even have bottled water to order. So we drank beer.
I would love to tell you about how we reached deep and discussed the meanings of our meditations while doing The Practice, but it was more about how I covet Karen's headstand and how April's arms are sometimes so rubbery that she can't drive home. And then the masala dosa arrived! The giant lentil and rice crepe took our breath away. Seriously the size of a place mat, it was crispy on the edges and packed with fragrant caramelized onions and potatoes.
The rest of our dinner came to the table, and we passed and chatted. The coconut poached shrimp is listed as one of their contemporary entrées. It was a favorite at the table with a rich flavor, but I expected something different, something more. We did chicken tikka masala, which was fine but not that exciting. But the chettinad masala was swimming in a tangy, spicy sauce that my naan kept finding over and over again.
By the second bottle of Taj Mahal, we were full and happy. The space had filled with chattering guests, and the warm colors were working. Barring enlightenment, I will say that for a table of yogis looking to escape the bonds of life in a way that doesn't make you sweat, Dancing Ganesha fit the bill.
**Don't forget to check our the new Second Helpings about Jax Cafe!**