There was a week when we visited Udipi Cafe twice. Let me recall. Yes, we were planning to go to this nice-sounding Italian place but P had had such a bad case of sniffles and sneezes that he really wanted to slurp up some spicy tomato rasam. That is one delicious way to open up your sinuses, for sure! Now I have been battling a bad case of Pitta aggravation since some days now. I am no expert on Ayurveda but this is a familiar situation for me as it isn't the first time. Long story short, tomatoes are a major cause of Pitta aggravation. So also is tamarind. Suffices to say that I wasn't sure what I would find to eat at an obviously South Indian food place. But I agreed to go along (also I hardly ever say 'No' to anything P asks for - my weakness, obviously.)
So we landed up at Udipi Cafe, Smyrna. I don't know what it is about many Indian restaurants and service. As the server ushers you in, how difficult can it be for him to have a smile on his face? Seriously, the guy who showed us to our seats was glowering. I have had the same experience at Udipi Cafe, Decatur as well. It's truly odd. Let me not get started about how they always have the cleaning supplies in full display of the restaurant. Who wants to see spray bottles and dish cloths while eating delicious food? Not me.
Ok, let me get on to the food. P ordered the Pongal-Vada combination and I ordered a plate of Pesarattu-Upma. Pretty soon, we switched.
Pongal is a traditional South Indian preparation of rice, dal, whole black peppers, cashews, lots of heavenly ghee. It is comfort food at its finest and healthiest. And it is panacea for my Pitta-aggravated soul and body. P offered me a taste and then the entire plate itself. The sides were sambar and coconut chutney. I pretty much cleaned up the coconut chutney but the sambar, as delicious as it looked, I had to avoid. Tomatoes + red chillies + tamarind is a lethal combination for me, at the moment. The Vada was delicious too! Not greasy at all, it was very nicely spiced and had the perfect "crunch" in your mouth.
The Pesarattu-Upma was a good combination too. Now I have been making a lot of Pesarattu in the last few weeks. It is basically a batter of soaked whole moong dal, spiced with cumin, ginger and green chillies, that you make dosas out of. Very delicious and healthy, indeed. These dosas were fairly decent although they lacked that freshness which I have come to associate with this preparation. Well, it isn't homemade - so maybe it's too much to expect.
I honestly don't recall much about the Upma. Or did we order the plain Pesarattu? I can't recall.
I like the food served at this place. The service is decent too. I wish they'd move the cart of cleaning supplies someplace out of sight. Maybe ask the servers to smile a little? Is that asking for a lot?