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Thali lunch at House of Dosas- Hicksville

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Thali lunch at House of Dosas- Hicksville

Tongo Rad | Oct 9, 2003 12:07 PM

I understand how tempting it may be to order the dosas in a place that is named after them but if you ever find yourself there on a weekday afternoon do yourself a favor and go for the thali lunch. I come to offer heaps of praise and perhaps a little bit of influence.

In short a thali is a stainless steel tray with an assortment of stuff on it. In the case of House of Dosas- Very Good Stuff. The staples (same thing every day) are: sambar, rassam, pickles, a papad and yogurt. The variables are: two different rice dishes and two different vegetable dishes. Sometimes you get dal, sometimes halva. One could eat lunch there every day of the week and have a different experience every time (at $6.50 that’s not much of a stretch).

The sambar is consistently excellent. The rassam (spicy vegetable broth) is remarkably flavorful and, if anything, has been getting spicier as the clientele gets more accustomed to the heat. That is a warning, I suppose, but when in Rome… The pickles are made on premises and beyond comparison (aside: sometimes I think that they refer to me as ‘the pickle guy’ there because of my open adoration of the stuff ) It may take the uninitiated a few times to warm up to, but please let it work its magic on you. And the yogurt is also made fresh and stands on its own, aside from being a palate cleanser and fire extinguisher.

The rice dishes are simply wonderful on their own, and if you’re lucky you’ll get coconut rice. The vegetables and curries are off menu and made specifically for the thali. They are sublime and elegant, for lack of a better term, because a misstep in any number of directions could set the dish way off balance. There is a very skilled hand in the kitchen. Everything I have had has made an impression, though the sautéed beets are amazing.

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