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Report from the Norristown vicinity

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Report from the Norristown vicinity

wombat | Sep 26, 2004 06:58 PM

Several of you came through with wonderful advice in response to my query about Norristown below and I thought I'd let you know how it went.

The whole weekend was a bit of a comedy of errors (note to Park Service: If someone calls and asks "Can I bring my dog in Valley Forge park?" don't just say 'yes' when the relevant information is "Yes, but if you come today there's a bunch of Nazis here and a million policemen blocking the front entrance arresting some Goths so that you can't get into the visitor center".) By dinnertime I swore I was never leaving the hotel and getting lost on the roads of this *&%#@ part of the country again (note to Penn DOT: Signs for exits need to go BEFORE the exit. Among other things....). I could only be dragged out with the promise that we would go someplace right down the street.

So, emboldened by the reccommendation of a different Indian place in a shopping center on route 202, I decided we would go to an Indian place in a shopping center just a little down 202 from our hotel, since it seemed that such a place had at least the possibility of being good. It was called Jaipur and it's a little down the road from the frighteningly huge King of Prussia Mall. (Their website is www.jaipurindia.com, I can't get the link function below to work).

There were quite a few things on the menu that we'd never seen before and we've eaten a lot of Indian in a number of places. For appetizer we had long chile peppers fried in chickpea batter, which we'd never had. The waiter warned it was hot but it wasn't noticably so to us. It was different and good although seemed a little salty to me. We had two main dishes. Now, I know how frustrating it is when someone describes a wonderful dish and doesn't remember the name, so when we ordered one dish I'd never heard of, I made sure to pick up the takeout menu on the way out, so I wouldn't have to do that frustrating thing. Of course, this dish isn't on the takeout menu. But I can tell you that it's at the end of the lamb dishes, says 'new' next to it, and includes fenugreek in the description. It was cubes of lamb in some chopped up green stuff and was very good. The other main dish was malai kofta. I always order this in a new place in a quest for the malai kofta of my dreams, which is the malai kofta of India Pavillion in Central Square, Cambridge, Mass, in the early 1980s. This was not that dish, and what's more it tasted distinctly of one of the few Indian spices I don't really like, I think asafoeteda. But, I couldn't stop eating it.

We were too stuffed for dessert so I couldn't pursue my other similar quest, for the ras malai of my same lost Indian restuarant.

The next day we went to Taqueria Michoacana for lunch. Matters were complicated by the fact that we were travelling with the dog and it was too warm to leave her in the car. and none of the taquerias (we looked at Taqueria Linda also) seem to believe in sidewalk cafes. So we had to get takeout, not the best test of a restuarant's strengths. But oh my, they had aguas frescas. Not watermelon juice, my favorite, but cantelope juice which was really great, and really good horchata. And I had two different kinds of pork tacos. The Mexican food situation where I live is so frustrating that it's a miracle just to write that sentence.

We also made a stop at Rita's Water Ice in Norristown but it did not recreate the Italian ice of my youth, sadly.

Anyway, thanks so much. You guys are awesome and I am sorry I didn't get to try more of your suggestions. I don't know if I'll ever be back, but I'm definitely holding on to all those maps just in case.

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