Well we swore we'd give our tummies a break from all of the revelery these past few days ( Thanksgiving, my son's second b-day food-filled bash, Casa Mono, Otto- I'm nauseous just reading it!)but we found ourselves at The Spicy One's restaurant this afternoon at 1:00 pm ready for lunch.
She came out immediately to greet us. I was stunned that she called us all by name- she had met my husband and slumbering son only once before on last week's visit. She told us she had had a wonderful Thanksgiving upstate and had stayed out until 4:00am. When asked if she ever got any sleep, her friend said he'd never heard of her sleeping for more than 15 minutes at a time. She concurred. Mina returned to her kitchen and sent us complimentary bhel puri to go with our vegetable rolls (nothing too special, but our expectations were low on this one). The lovely gentleman who took our order had suggested we go for the chicken Dopieaga and the vegetable curry to accompany the Mina Special dal fry (the real reason we had come- it was unbelievable last Sunday)We ordered some garlic naan as well. Mina came by after we ordered and said something to our waiter. He asked for our phone number and last name which seemed a bit odd. We asked if they were again relocating and trying to keep tabs on their clientele. "No," he assured us. "Mina wants to be able to call her friends for suggestions about her menu and food."
We were the only people there besides another couple who came in midway through our meal. Service was prompt; the dishes came out very quickly.
Well... everything was delicious of course, but the dal fry resembled NOTHING of the dal fry we had enjoyed a mere week ago. An apples and oranges kind of thing. Totally strange in a Twilight Zone kind of way. How could something be so, so different? When it was taken off the tray and put in from of us, our initial reaction was " Oh, is that the veggie curry?" It was so unbelievably soupy- it had nothing of the mujjardah (sp?)-like grainy texture it did last time. "Oh, Mina made it diferently this time." was our waiter's response. It was indeed very good, but nothing at all like what we were craving. Mina kept peeking out seemingly reveling in our sated expressions as we ate her delicious fare. At one point she herself came out with a new platter of steaming rice for us. "Fresh, better," she advised.
Shortly after she left with a shopping cart full of laundry and a container of Tide, we requested a bowl of garjela halwa carrot pudding. It was presented to us garnished with a tiny gulab jamun. A miniscule portion again, but unbelievably delicious. When Mina returned a few minutes later there seemed to be a bit of a fracas from behind the screen and our waiter appeared looking very distraught. "Mina is very upset," he announced. "The halwa wasn't finished; it needed another step. She's angry we served it to you." We laughed and told him it was fantasic. Mina came out to say goodbye and thank us. "Again you come. Tomorrow," she said.
I'll definitley be back but I want that outstanding dal fry in its original incarnation once again. Any hope?