San Joes Toh Hai Hi…

That weekend in California was a whirl. For several reasons. But I’ll talk about what I ate.

Thursday. Sigh. Survived on Jamba Juice all-citrus smoothie. And an uber-expensive, complete WASTE of a mozzarella sandwich that I bought at SFO.

Friday lunch was with the Berkeley boy. Pizza. Because we were thinking of the time when we were neighbours. Wasted little grad students on weekends. Aaah, yes. Dinner, Friday night, was from this place called Pizza and Curry. Indian Pizzas. Makes me happy. Takes me back to the 6th grade. When Pizza Hut opened their first franchise in Pune. And how mum and I went on Day 2. And this one waiter, Hanu, who for the love of his sexual life, just would not stop hitting on the girls who sat at the table beside ours. I haven’t eaten a Pizza Hut pizza in a decade. I graduated to Domino’s because their home delivery franchise was really close to home. Next block, really. Gaaah. You need to bribe me to stop digressing, I say!

Pizza and Curry
42136 Blacow Road,
Fremont, CA 94538

Pizza and Curry had some pizza toppings I haven’t had/seen in a long long time. Kheema, paneer tikka, malai chicken, chilly chicken, tandoori chicken… woah!!! I like how California caters to the Indian population so well, some times. There were some weird toppings too: palak paneer, mango chaat, pav bhaji, aloo gobi!!! That’s like eating a curry from an Indian restaurant with bread, instead of roti, really. They’re probably decent, you know. It’s just that I wouldn’t order a Palak Paneer pizza right away. 🙂

Kheema Mazala Pizza

The kheema pizza was good. Pretty fucking good. The friend who brought me here got himself a paneer something. Both personal size. 8 inches across, or so. Only for $7.99 each. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Paneer Tikka Pizza

And we got some Indian-style garlic bread with it. Cheesy bread sticks, with a garlic-cilantro-mint chutney liberally brushed over the bread. That was delicious too.

Cheesy Garlic Bread, Desi Style

Pizzas with Indian-ized toppings and reasonably priced.
Definitely worth that one visit.

I was out all of Saturday. The engagement. They look so adorable together. And we’re all so happy for my cousin. And as far as I’m concerned, I just spoke to her and she told me all her friends couldn’t stop gushing about how hot I looked. Heehee. I like being called that every now and then. But then, who wouldn’t! Saturday evening was ha rd-core partying with the couple and the extended family. Kebabs. Tandoori chicken. More kheema. And absolutely any kind of alcohol that I might have asked for, and as much of it as I would have liked. I stuck to a solitary Corona. Let’s not get into details.

Sunday afternoon was a beautiful surprise. Great great great weather. And an Indian brunch that I never thought I could EVER get in the United States. Misal Pav. Can you beat that? Authentic Puneri misal pav!!! What’s the place called? I can’t seem to remember right, but I think it’s India Chaat Cuisine. It’s on El Camino Real. Near this HUGE Asian store. It’s a block from Komala Vilas and the Indian store. I think you should be able to find it. It’s funny and sad at the same time, how Indian restaurants in USA (except NYC, of course) usually have names that contain one or more of the following words: India, Taj, Royal, House, Cuisine. Or just awfully South Indian. Extra H’s and A’s to suit their astrologers’ fancies. Why? What happened to Sapna Biryani. Or Lazeez. Or errr… Pakoda Palace. Or Desi Tadka. Redundancy, yes? That tadka IS a Desi thing, and garnish, but not really garnish. Or Jaam-e-Peshawar. Technically, that would be Pakistani. But you get the point, right?

Oh, so yeah, I just looked it up online. It IS called India Chaat Cuisine. The Maharashtrian menu doesn’t show up on the website. In fact, it was a separate laminated sheet they handed to us, when we were at the table. Oh, they have puran poli and thalipeeth too. Just saying.

All that said, it was the most-Maharashtrian food I’ve eaten outside of an apartment. I remember having some scrumptious misal at PS’ home one night. My friend ordered sabudana khichdi. They serve that only on Sundays. And we got a vada pav each, later. Vada Pav with hirvi mirchi and laal chutney. Oh Lord! I couldn’t have been happier. Someone tell Mr. Joshi he left his mark on some awesome Marathi fellow who decided to sell vada pavs here!

Puneri Misal, with a 'jodi'
Vada Pav, complete with tikhat suki chutney and hirvi mirchi (spicy, dry chutney and green chillies)

India Chaat Cuisine
1082E, El Camino Real
Sunnyvale, CA 94087

The place also serves regular Indian food. And. INDIAN CHINESE. I’ll get to that in just a bit. And this place, it isn’t even that expensive. I think it was $3 each for the vada pav. And $5-7 for the other stuff.

Sunday dinner was at a Thai restaurant. Nothing too new. Nothing too special.

Thai curry

So I’ll get to Monday afternoon. I was back on El Camino. At India Chaat Cuisine. This time for the Indian Chinese. You know what the menu was like? Gobi Machurian. Vegetable Manchurian. Both, dry and with gravy. Triple Schezwan Rice. Fried Rice. Sweet and Sour Vegetable Gravy. Ooooh! Death, right there. From being ecstatic. We ordered the Gobi Manchurian and the Schezwan rice. Let me tell you about the rice. It was red, from the colouring. It had peas in it. And a liberal doze of spring onion. And boy, oh boy, oh boy! Did I enjoy it or what! It was EVERYTHING the thelewala sells. Cook Fang. Fat Kong. You name it. The Gobi Manchurian (dry) was delicious too. This place, truly, is one of the very few Indian restaurants that I have liked in USA. You must try looking for it, when you’re in San Jose.

Gobi Manchurian, ftw!
Schezwan Rice, served with a hot-and-sour soup like sauce

Both the pizza place and the Marathi place, simple. I wouldn’t have the heart to give them ambience ratings. But food, 10/10. Without doubt.

I flew out Monday evening, after having devoured a bag of benana chibbs. And that kept me going all the way until Tuesday evening, when I had a decent dinner at my aunts.

Food is life. Life, dear readers, is awesome.

P.S.: Pictures will take a few days. I used my phone to take pictures and my phone doesn’t seem to show up on my computer when I plug the cable in. I’ll need to figure that out.

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3 thoughts on “San Joes Toh Hai Hi…

  1. Davis

    Good Information. Thank you for sharing and I want to share information about Tandoori Chef which is An authentic North Indian, fine dining restaurant, Tandoori Chef offers Hackensack and the surrounding area a wonderful taste of Indian cuisine.

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