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Baluchi's And The Velvet Rag On Columbus Ave.

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Baluchi's And The Velvet Rag On Columbus Ave.

Clement | Mar 12, 2001 07:33 AM

Walking along Columbus Ave after having walked-about the Flea Market, it was nearing 5pm and I was hungry. And there it was.... Baluchi's Indian Restaurant. Hey ! Let's go in ! C'mon! ( I pleaded with wifey). Bad idea !
As we entered we were greeted by a filthy dark maroon velvet rag acting as a 'wind-breaker'. We were ushered to our corner table when, suddenly, that 'velvet rag' flew-about as the door was opened bringing-in the dust from the street and MY SON...he had come to pick-up his take-out dinner and, of course, we invited him to stay and join. We felt pretty good; afterall, what finer recommendation could we possibly get than my OWN son saying: "I love this food"!
Bad idea!
I do not know where to begin (?).
While son was babblin'-on about the cuisine, I half-listened and took notice of the room, the floor, the walls, the table, the ..., the, the dirt! Saying very little, I permitted Son to cherish his excitement about the menu and about his apparent knowledge of what we were about to eat.
Water was served from coper pitchers and poured into copper goblets. We did not drink the water ! Son ordered a "Kingfisher" (I think that's the name) beer and we ordered Cokes (believe it or not).
Then came a basket of paper-thin crisps and three small plastic filled containers of 'dipping sauces', -- one tamerind, one corriander and the other mango chutney. Ok! This wasn't 'half bad'.....
Starters were presented next: Shrimp Baluchi ( deep fried medium-sized shrimp stuffed with cream cheese); this was horrible, greasey and just too much Philadelphia brand spread to suit me. Another Starter was called Chiken Tikka or grilled bits of chiken scraps with a slobbering of garlic and lemon,--yelch! The third Starter was called Samosa's, -- smashed-up chick-peas with various 'unidentified objects' and shaped into fried 'big balls'; I couldn't help but gag after just a taste. This had a 'strange' odor as well as a thick, starchy and textured taste and
greasey. The entrees included: Tikka Masala (not to be confused with Marsala), Lamb Handi and Chicken Tandori with two bowls of starchy, cold rice with 'some other things'. I made a very good attempt to 'stiffle' my mouth as well as my reaction to all the 'stuff' laden before us. I tasted with trepidation and, midway, feigned an upset stomach to excuse my lack of enthusiasm and apologized to my son for not eating with my usual Italian gusto.
I snatched the bill (of course, like any son would do, there was no protest) and $97 (with tip) later, I stumbled-out of the doorway with the 'velvet rag' brushing-up against my face. Said "goodbye" to Son and carried my stomach to the car for a fretful drive home to Westchester. Am I not a real good Dad ? !

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