Friday, April 10, 2009

Thursday, April 9th - Steamrollers and Saravanaa Bhavan - Vegetarian South Indian

Breakfast was Activia. You know, this stuff is for real but what they're not letting you know in the ads where people eating it's mid-sections are belly dancing is that to keep your insides healthing, the insides have to keep moving. Well, then maybe the belly dancing ads are right on then? I have a friend who won't go near it because of that very reason. The intestinal activation, not the belly dancing. We'll call him Dark. Dark jumped when I grabbed a tub of it for a camping trip a bunch of us were going on. I guess he's just your typical regular Joe and doesn't need fancy pro-biotic yogurts. I am back on the stuff since coming back from holiday a couple of weeks ago, my metabolism and other stuff have been way off kilter. I went from over eating at breakfast and eating ALLLLL LOT of fried foods and eatfood combined with virtual inactivity because of the heat to home. So my body is revolting against me. It's decided it's gonna hang on to what 'normal' amount of food I allow it. Activia with Natures Path High Fibre Slim cereal it is.

Lunch was Grav Lox with sourdough. D had Steamrollers. It's a chain of burrito fast-food restaurants. The glass windows are always steamed up. Seriously, and probably not on purpose. It's the way they make their burritos. D however, lived in San Fran for several years and spent a great deal of time in the Mission and wants it perfectly understood that Steam Rollers don't make Burritos. If you go in with that attitude, you may enjoy it. Think of it as a warm wrap and not a Burrito. He had the veggie and not the veggie deluxe. He said it was pretty good this time but of course he had gone in with the newly modified, this is not a burrito outlook. Be aware, they are not as big and filling as your traditional burritos. If you need a belly ful you might want to go to Red Burrito. It was fresher that Red Burrito though.

Davie and Homer
(rating graphic coming)
(for fast food that is)

Dinner was Vegetarian Southern Indian. I am going back to this place for lunch. As we were finishing dinner, they were setting up for lunch tomorrow. They had over a dozen 'trays' and they were ALL veggie. How cools is that???!! D started to laugh telling me 'It's a vegetarian restaurant.' I've spent years going to Indian buffet, fuelled by my penchat for buffet's and curry. I'd come to accept that in a typical line up, I'll have the choices of 3 maybe 4 things, and that's excluding the rice and salad. So this was awesome. I'm coming back for lunch.

The dinner started off badly. They handed us laminated menus. I do mean plural because there were four different menues for each of us:

-Saravanaa southern indian regular line up.
-laminated Insert alcohol line up
-laminated Insert Norther indian full menu
-laminated Insert Chef's specials (mostly Northern)

Then there was the southern menu it's self. It jumped around and unless you knew what southern indian food was, you would be confused why there were donuts in the appetisers. Best not to over think. My theory is that non-indian people would walk in looking for mutter paneer or Gobi Aloo and be disappointed to find out that they were northern dishes and then head over to Maurya's or summat, so they added the Northern fayre, more known to the general public. So we set the two northern menus aside and though D was tempted to order some paneer stuffed Naan, I said No! We are going to have southern indian because these menus are going to make my head explode. I was half tempted to walk across the street to Banana Leaf. I'm glad I didn't. We ordered a Frontera Sauvignon Blanc. It wasn't very good. I would suggest you don't go there for the wine. Have a beer. If you don't drink beer like me, have a water or cola.

As a starter we had the PLANTAIN BAJI. Plantains fried in a chickpea batter served with lentil chutneys. They were like puree's based on lentils. One green was herbal and the other one was white, which was coconut. It comes with your traditional mini bowl of delicious lentil soup. I will have to find this recipe. The plantains were hot and yummy. A bit greasy though.

For a main, we were going to order a special pancake but apparently we thought it was friday because of the long weekend and they didn't have it. We order a southern indian sampler. It comes on a round stainless steel tray about 1.5x the size of a frisbee (we didn't have a camera). In the centre is basmati rice (the rice wasn't good but thankfully, the rest was. It comes with two papadums (lighter and crispier than others and I don't know if that is a southern thing) and two parathas. Parathas are the bread of that region. They're about the size of a tostada, 6inches in diamater and cooked so that it puffs up and the it looks like a miniature helium balloon, the foil ones you get for a child with a message on them. They were great. I would have ordered more but we were getting pretty full. Surprisingly. Around the bowl of rice in the centre were ten mini bowls the size of mise en place prep bowls with different southern curries, 1 soup, 2 yogurts and a sweet.

Special Meal (in the southern menu) - 9.95, great value
Poori (2), channa masala, rice, sambhar, rasam, special kulambu, two vegetable curries, raitha,
curd, appalam, pickle & sweet.

and we got a pancake, we were going to get a Dosa which is also typical but we thought we'd try something new.

Tomato, Onion & Chilli Utthappam 7.50
Thick rice & lentil pancake topped with tomatoes, onion & chillies.

It is light and delicate and they'll offer you a knife but you don't need it. It came with the same dipping sauces and a pickle and another little shot of the lentil soup. Very nice, crispy and good size.

Saravanna Bhavan
955, West Broadway, (At Oak Street)
V5Z 1K3
(drinks menu aside)

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