I’m the typical south-indian morunjchaatham[curd rice] types. Not very keen on what I get to eat except that I’m a veggie. My wife, on the other hand, is a food junkie – the food channel types – the pastas, the teriyakis, the pitas, the paninis, the calamaris, the polentas and whatever. And she is a fabulous cook who makes sure that I get my share of onion rava masalas and aviyals and vatha kuzhambu and whatever you-get-to-eat-only-in-chennai including rava kesari, puffs, aama vadai and home-made ‘samsa‘[remember pammal k sambandam].
As you land in the US [though that was a while ago], you get overwhelmed by the types of food available. From Japanese to Continental to the typical American food, there is just too much lying around. In the last one year, I found myself saying no to most dishes but still enjoying the vegetarian dishes offered by all each type. I even found myself eating greek food. And it’s called, Kolokythokeftethes which is: Zucchini & Cheese Croquettes. So as I acquired tastes from distant lands, I found myself falling in love with Pasta.
Pasta, the Italian pride is probably my most favorite type of food after the south indian thaali. Just like all great types of food, pasta can be made in different shapes and sizes. The pasta dough can also be made of different flours ranging from Unbleached White Flour to Brown Rice Flour to Mung Bean Threads. Just like a barbie doll, you could decorate it however. Add Garlic and Herbs or dump Strawberry or even chocolate, pasta would still be great to eat.
At first, I hated the word Macaroni. When I had my wife serving plain Macaroni, I preferred to eat Rava Uppuma. Next time she added some Marinara Sauce to it. Since then pasta was my love. Marinara Sauce is made of Italian tomatoes, garlic, basil [the italian tulasi] and oregano [for the aroma]. Now I can eat just about any pasta ranging from Macaroni to Capellini to Spaghetti to Rigatoni to Fettuccine. All I need is a cup of Marinara sauce.
Other than my home which is pasta headquarters these days for me, I also like to have it in the Cheesecake Factory. CC Factory is one famous restaurant chain in the US that dictates the next modern American food. Time had an exclusive coverage on Cheesecake Factory, couple of weeks back. CC Factory truly keep changing their menu regularly and every time your there you find a lovely dish. So here in the US if you want to know if a certain dish is a good one, check to see if CC Factory had it on their menu or not. If it was there, its sure is hot stuff.
Surprisingly its one of the few places where me and my wife love the food. Its usually me who is choosy about food, partly due to my veggie habits. So you could be sure that Cheesecake factory serves food for people on either side of the food spectrum. I heard they serve lovely cocktails too. And some amazing appetizers like the Chilly Cheese Sticks and Bruschetta [Freshly Baked Pizza Bread Topped with Fresh Chopped Tomato, Red Onion, Garlic, Basil and Olive Oil]. Needless to say they have some lovely cheesecakes, one of which is the lovely Tiramisu Cheesecake.
I’m finding myself in an urge to try out such high calorie food these days. But then at the same time, I also buy 2 Gallons of Fat Free Milk from Costco. Just to underline how crazy a desi could get.