i've had a craving for masala dosas recently. not really sure what sparked it; a week of orange juice and Saltines might have something to do with it. Indian food is comfort food for me. i love curried chickpeas on rice, saag paneer, and a nice helping of 'coolant', as we nicknamed raita, back in college, i think. spicy food is good, too, and i'll eat that as well. but spiced cauliflower and onion nan? comfort food.
so i decided to take myself out to dinner. haven't been out of the house much the past week, besides putting in more or less full days at work. took Friday off to take Penny to the shop, which wasn't really necessary - the time off, that is. but it seemed like a good a reason as any to spend another day napping and watching tiny Bob Costas tell us about the Olympics. (i jest about him only because everyone else on TV has been doing it; personally, i think he's a fine and dandy height. then again, i'm used to looking up at nearly everyone.)
the point of that little segue was that going cross town for dinner was a Big Adventure. even though i've been craving dosas for a while, it still took me some time to motivate myself off the warm couch and into the car. once i got going, tho, it was fun. i like driving around. and the traffic wasn't too bad over there. oh - Rangoli is the only place i know that serves dosas, so i had to truck cross town. don't know why they're such a rarity, except that most restaurants do generic Indian food, a few do tandoori as well, and not many at all do dishes from specific areas. dosas are a south Indian dish (pardon my ignorance - i couldn't really tell you what province), and should be much more popular.
they're basically huge sourdough crepe-like things, stuffed with yummy fillings, and served with coconut chutney. the lentil dish that comes with it is either a soup or a sauce; i haven't figured out which because i don't much care for the taste of it. but, ohhh... masala dosa, stuffed with potatoes and lentils and spices, all warm and satisfying, washed down with a Kingfisher... heaven.
even nicer, as i was sitting there, reading and munching, was realizing that i can take myself anywhere i want to now. if i want to drive cross town for dosas? done. if i want to drive to the corner store because i'm lazy? done. if i just feel like driving around and listening to tunes? done. it's a nice feeling.
and i even found parking in under half an hour, which was a minor miracle in and of itself. one of the foot dragging factors was trying to figure out how i'd find parking - tougher than for most, because i'm still baffled by parallel parking. i figure i get big gold stars for being able to drive thru the Comm Ave intersection without losing my mind; it's been rated one of, if not the most unsafe intersections in the state for both cars and peds. so, cut me some slack on the parking thing. ;) after driving around in circles (more or less) and cursing every idiot who decided to double or triple park (yes, really), thus blinding me from seeing the other idiot who was pulling out of a side street into oncoming traffic, i thought i'd found a street spot. unfortunately, it was immediately around a turn, and there was a lot of traffic driving up my ass, so i pulled up a little further to preserve my bumper. as i was swearing about losing the spot - there was no way i could have backed up - it appeared before me. a parking lot. a city parking lot. a city parking lot after meter hours. aaaahhhhh. and no, i'm not going to tell you where it is. finders keepers. ;)
the funniest thing about jaunts like this is talking to my best friend afterwards. i'm not exactly blas¸ about it yet, but it's not a cataclysmic event to drive somewhere on my own. she gets all proud of me, tho, when i mention going somewhere, and tells me how happy she is and generally makes me feel really good about having learned one more thing about how to be an adult.