Mean, green, boring machine
“I don’t mean to sound the alarm unnecessarily, but it strikes me that an invasion of GREEN ASS BORERS is something to gnaw the old nails over, if you get my drift!” That was my rather dramatic, exasperated reaction to a pamphlet I misread while riding in Lewis’s car on Friday, heading to lunch. It turns out the pamphlet was actually warning folks to heed the signs of the Emerald Ash Borer, a tree-killing insect. Easy mistake. I guess I’ve been reading too much Savage Love.
We were on our way to Central Avenue and 40th, where we were going to decide between a few places I’d passed repeatedly and had wanted to try. Relaxing my anal sphincter, I refocused on the task at hand, and soon we decided, wisely it turned out, on a nondescript restaurant called Sahib’s Gateway to India.
Now, with Udupi just down the street, and the Chutney Indian Grill even closer, venturing into an unknown Indian place might strike you, dear reader, as downright foolhardy. Fair enough. But understand, only moments prior I was conjuring up images of some alien with a strap on giving me the ol’ pump & pack. Imagine my relief upon realizing my mistake! I was walking tall and feeling good and ready to live a little.
Even before you open the door to Sahib’s you’re greeted with a lingering scent of sweet turmeric and cumin goodness. The place is smallish and not without its camp, but offers a much nicer ambience than, say, Holy Land Deli or Chutney. [We love Holy Land and Chutney. Relax. eds.] Sahib greeted us warmly from across the room, immediately asking us what we wanted to drink (water and a Coke, respectively) as we grabbed a table. Sahib offers a daily buffet, and we jumped right in.
For those of you rolling your eyes and making that masturbation gesture at the mere mention of buffet, suit yourself. Sure, probably the last thing we fat Americans need is yet another buffet; I take your point. (Actually, the last thing we fat Americans need is an idiot blowhard for a president, but I digress.) But after a hard night of drinking and a long week of senseless toiling, the comforting elixir of all-you-can-eat sure beats a…say…late night sneak attack by the GREEN ASS BORERS.
Ahem. For those still with me, I’ll cut to the chase. Good shit. All of it. Or nearly all of it, since there was something unidentifiable, labeled “pickle,” that was anything but and tasted to me like nasty alcohol. That exception noted, one couldn’t go wrong with Sahib’s spread. A good mix of vegetarian dishes and otherwise (including these brilliant veggie pakoras: potato, cauliflower, cabbage and peppers rolled up and fried) that kept us cooing and grunting through the whole meal. (In sarcastic tone: Some achievement, that.)
I ate too much, of course, in that classic make-way-for-the-American way. Pathetic, I know. But Sahib was there encouraging us the whole way, and he seemed to sincerely appreciate our gluttony, regarding it as affirmation that his was some good chow. And it was. And is.
So, allow me to suggest that you disabuse yourself of the notion that buffets are for losers, if only for a day, and get your ass—bored or otherwise—over to Sahib’s for one highly satisfying meal.