Friday, May 24, 2013

Tobacco Road Sports Cafe

If you live in or near Durham, you've probably heard of the Tobacco Road Sports Cafe.  I've never gone because I can't seem to tear myself away from my favorite haunt, Cuban Revolution that's like 200 feet away.

So anyways, one day we were on that side of town and decided to try it based on some recommendations from coworkers.  We got on Blackwell St. but couldn't find the place.  There was also some construction going on so we didn't see the restaurant right away.  Couple of minutes later, I saw a small sign pointing in the direction of the cafe.  We walk in and it's a light-filled airy and bright space.  We seated ourselves at the bar and ordered a couple of drinks.  I didn't particularly like their draft selections and the couple of things I wanted to try, they didn't have.  

So coming to the food, I was happy to see they had a few mains for vegetarians and quite a few appetizers as well.  I ordered the pimiento cheese and fried green tomato on wheat. It came out perfectly done and delicious!  It also came with a side of Mexican rice and black beans.  I actually thought I could've eaten the side by itself, it was SOOO good!!  That was some good eatin'!!!

Just in case you're wondering, pimiento cheese is a famous cheese spread in North Carolina.  And it is DELICIOUS!!!!!  It's usually cheddar cheese, red pimiento peppers, sometimes mayo (yuck!!) and spices.  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Los Comales y birreria

There's this little dive, hole-in-the-wall taqueria type place next to my school which I recently discovered on Yelp called Los Comales. It's off a busy road and if you're not paying attention, you can easily miss it.

I ordered 3 bean & lettuce tacos for $1.50 each and a guava agua fresca for $2. I asked the nice lady not to put rice in the tacos and just serve them on the side.

Damn, I wish this place was closer to home. They had a big 'fixins' bar so I added the rest on myself. I started off with radishes, salsa verde, pico de gallo & cilantro. Holy crap, it was so good! Total came to about $6. I will be going back often.

*EDIT-  I've gone a gazillion times since but changed my order to 2 tacos instead of 3 because I would get so sleepy in class!   Also tried the bean & cheese pupusas- also delicious with the fixins'.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Rasaya muthia - ultimate comfort food

This recipe is so comforting. It is at the same time soupy, starchy and spicy. It's basically a spicy broth with dumplings. I don't know if it's truly a Gujarati or Rajasthani dish because it seems to have elements of both.

I started off by making the dough for the dumplings. I just made dough like I normally do for theplas (a spicy flatbread).

It consists of about a cup of whole wheat flour, oil, salt, red chili powder, turmeric, carom seeds and chopped greens are optional. Mix all this using water and cover dough and let rest.

The second step, just string some valor beans or papdi which you can find in any Indian shop. If you can't find these, just use green beans.

Sauté about a cup's worth of beans for 5-7 minutes in some oil, then add turmeric, red chili powder, some grated ginger, salt and about 5-6 cups water and let it come to a boil and then simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

While the soup base is boiling, make the dumplings. Break off small pieces of the dough and slide them into the rasa (soup). Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Stir once in awhile until the dough is cooked through.

So warming and inviting. Grab a spoon!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Restaurant review Cholanad

I went to a new little Indian restaurant for lunch the other day. It's called Cholanad and it is fantastic! The sign said they opened at 11:30, but I got there a few minutes after that and the door was still locked. I stood around waiting for a couple of minutes until the bartender saw me and opened the door. The place is brightly lit and has a modern feel. The bar is nice and long with plenty of seating. As soon as I walked in the place, I felt it would make a nice lounge. Some of the seating was semi-private with high walled curved seating, as if you had been in a small capsule.

I ordered the vegetable kurma and butter naan. It arrived pretty quickly. The plating was nice with modern style dinnerware in pure white. The naan was deeelicious! It wasn't the usual soft naan. It was flaky and full of ghee on the outside and tender on the inside. The kurma was also superb. I'm a fan of the more spicy dishes, but this was flavored so wonderfully with a ton of ginger and garlic and I didn't miss the extra spicy flavors I usually crave. I also loved that they didn't cook the vegetables into a mush. They sliced them into matchsticks and left them slightly crunchy. It was a beautiful pairing. But after dropping close to $11 for this lunch, it will have to be a once in awhile outing. A-

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Make chai, not war

Haha!!!! I so need to get this...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Vintage Indian utensils

When my sister was down visiting from Texas, we took a quick trip to a quaint little town in southern Virginia to visit my uncle and his family. It's a college town, but they are also famous for some of the state's best bed & breakfasts. I was poking around my aunts pantry and almost screamed in delight when I saw these. The first one is used to make gathiya, an Indian breakfast street food. It is made using besan (chickpea flour or gram flour). It is mixed with water, oil, baking soda, salt and Tellicherry peppercorns. The batter is then slid across by hand through the holes and dropped into hot oil. The result is slightly puffy savory delight. If I had to compare them to something, I would say they are like a savory Indian churro. Instead of serving them with hot chocolate, you would offer up some hot masala chai. The second utensil is a hand held grater that once belonged to my grandmother. My aunt told me I could take it if I wanted to. And I REALLY wanted to, but I left it with her, undeniably in good hands.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pineapple & Habanero vodka

I hardly have time to breathe these days or so it feels. Working full time and then going to school is not fun. I don't know how people do it. That too, with kids and family! I have a new appreciation for all the single moms that raise their kids while going to school and work. It's just amazing how they are able to do that. So, as it is right now, I have hardly been cooking. Sometimes I want to, but then don't want to worry about the clean up. That's just how it's been of late. Anyways, look what I found at this Mexican place in Greensboro! The bartender said it is reserved for straight shots only. I would love to try this at home soon!