On the junction of Nungambakkam road and Mount road, across from the Brain Drain Black Hole (US Consulate), there is a vegetarian restaurant named New Yorker. Uh? My reaction exactly when I was informed of the complete lack of fauna on the menu. But truth be told, New Yorker has one of the most diverse and eclectic vegetarian menus on offer in Chennai.
There are 2 kinds of vegetarian food in the world.
The first kind is Vegetarienne Au Naturelle, where greenery is uprooted from the forests and fields, mildly warmed and served on a plate. Bovines and health conscious americans tend to prefer this kind.
The second kind is salted to hurt, spiced to kill and cooked to death. In short, Indian vegetarian food.
New Yorker serves food of the second kind, with a slight difference. It’s Indian food garnished with globalized nomenclature. Here is a sampler:
Mexican Pasta Salad
New Yorker Jain Assorted Platter
Jain Pasta Delight
What was missing however, was a menu card that could spin fantastic stories about the origins of these dishes. I am not referring to the lame 5-star method of using “Delectable Succulently Steamed Flavourful Rice Pancakes” to describe idlis. I am talking about tales, myths and dreamscapes describing something as exotic as a New Yorker Special Mexican Jain Fajita Sizzler.
This is what I am looking for
It was the aftermath of the First Intifada, when Sheikh Al Bukhari migrated to Guadalajara and married Gloria Hernandez, a girl who worked in a roadside Burrito stall. It was in that heat of romance, in that melting pot of hearts, that the fiery jalapeno married the humble middle-eastern chickpea to concoct the delectable:
Mexican Falafel Rs 99
Legend has it that Shri Banwari Lal Jain, a pawn broker operating in Lower Manhattan was caught by his wife doing hanky-panky with their Mexican housemaid Chiquita. A household fight broke out and nachos, beans and garam masala were used as weapons by the protagonists. The proprietor of New Yorker happened to witness this sizzling display of domestic fireworks and convinced the warring parties to stop a while, while he notes down the amounts of ingredients used in the fight. He comes back to Chennai and serves, for your culinary pleasure:
New Yorker Special Mexican Jain Fajita Sizzler Rs 139
Ok. 7/11 for the food. 5/9 for the ambience.
For the geographically challenged:
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