How is it that some of the best food in an Indian city is always served at these tiny-hole-in-the-wall places? This morning a friend took us to a Tamilian place for breakfast. Twist and turn in lanes just about big enough to hold a small car. Park precariously, under the nose of a man deeply immersed in his morning paper. Enter a tall narrow building, the kind that gets thrown together in an absent-minded manner on a small strip of land. Start climbing a dark flight of steep stairs.
The place (one cannot by any stretch of the imagination call it a restaurant) is on the second floor. It has 10 metal tables with plastic chairs. Plain walls except for calendar pictures of Venkatramana and a sign that says ‘We serve individuals of all comunities, Grade B’. (Not sure what a ‘Grade B comunitie’ is, but I guess we qualified). Very clean, with newly whitewashed walls. We are waited upon by a charming young lady. It is 7.30am and she has a fresh garland of jasmine flowers in her hair. Between the three of us we have: 5 filter coffees, two upamas, one pongal, one uttapam and one sada dosa. The food is served with sambar, coconut chutney and two other chutneys. It is also served with courtesy and care. All for the grand sum of Rs.110 (less than $3.00). Gotto love it.