Reflections on Stripmall Eating
Monday, December 18, 2006
Location: 2680 Dekalb Pike, E. Norriton
Personnel: Jesse, Me
What I Ate: Complimentary Rice Crisps, Masala Dosa, Lamb Saag, Chicken Goan, Basmati Rice With Peas, Kashmiri Naan
Condiments: Sambar, Coconut Chutney, Tomato Chutney
Bill Total: $35
Observations: I have a thing about too-muchness. Like, I don't want more than one gray cable knit sweater because inevitably there will be a favorite and then I'm going to feel sorry for the one left in the closet. And so I really only needed one great Indian restaurant in Montgomery County. After all, just getting to Jaipur on the odd occasion has been challenge enough. Now that we've been to Aman's, though, I'm starting to worry. With another option comes a greater higher likelihood that somebody's gulab jamun are going to be neglected. At first I was a bit put-off by the pink, yellow and orange star-shaped crisps served instead of the usual pappadams. They had the look of breafast cereal and the texture of packing peanuts. But when the meal arrived, each dish was more delicious than the last. Jesse's a sucker for saag and the lamb rendition here had all the hallmarks of a great one: feathery spinach and bite-sized chunks of meat cooked into soft, velvety submission with sweet perfumy bursts of cardamom. I could have licked the copper bowl for the last traces of the Goan chicken's creamy coconut gravy. The dosa was the length and circumference of a telescope, though more manageable than the 6-footer our friend Jon Solomon once served at a Super Bowl party. The pancake, golden and crisp with the pleasing tang of fermented lentil, enclosed a fluffy potato and onion filling with fenugreek seeds. We alternated dips and scoops of the three accompanying condiments in a fruitless attempt to sop them all up. Apparently, you need the 6-footer to do them justice. In all, a fantastic meal, but only time will tell whether we favor Aman's over Jaipur. In the meantime, here's hoping one of them moves.