America, Bhaarath Mahaan, Eating Out, Food, life, madras, Travel

A Tale of Three Cities

I just finished making dinner (stir fry from left over rice). I have my steaming cup of lemon grass green tea and I’m listening to Frank Sinatra on loud. I haven’t felt this relaxed in weeks. I just returned from a month long trip back to the mother ship and to the flashy city of Dubai. That’s the first word that comes in to my head when I think Dubai – flashy.

My Madras vacation was amazing but it went by far too quickly it was almost like it never happened. I ate some delicious comfort food, caught up with my extra large family and met my beautiful girls. I did some shopping too although it was very restrictive because of airline rules regarding baggage (annoying!).

Madras was gorgeous, not the same as I left her but that’s a post for another day.

Dubai was flashy. I ate unhealthy amounts of food. Like really unhealthy I’m so ashamed of myself when I think about it now. I did all the usual touristy things there is to do. The one thing that always gets me about Dubai is that while its fancy and modern it has no charm to it. Maybe its just me cause I have really strong “feelings” about certain things and that’s what drives me.

California is as gorgeous as ever. Cold and windy but I love it. I love the nature and the beautiful skies that I get to see here everyday. Every time I look up at the beautiful blue sky it never fails to remind me to send a little note of thanks to Him. I love how the small things around remind me of a greater presence. I’m so thankful I live here, eat good food and have everything I need and more. We don’t need to look too far to search for the blessings in our life. Blessings are all around us.

Now that I’m done with the ‘Thought for the Day’ can we all take a moment to appreciate how friggin’ amazing Frank Sinatra sounds? Every time I listen to his deep voice I get goosebumps! If only singers are as classy now. Take a note, Justin Beibers of the world.

I will be back with more stories. Don’t miss me too much, Interwebz!

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America, Eating Out, Food, life, life lessons

Twenty four

Yesterday I turned twenty four. A year older. A year wiser? I surely hope so. I want to feel wiser and smarter but its taking me baby steps to get there. Year after year I try to work on how I present myself. I try to be a good person to others. But I forget to work on me. And me has been needing a lot of “me” time lately. For a long time I’ve struggled with the person I am. I was confused about what was expected of me. I was continuously pleasing people around me, ignoring what I wanted. By the time I could get that idea out of my head it had become a habit that was hard to shake off.

Now I am trying my hardest to take the reins of my life in my own hands. And I want to ride fast and strong. I don’t want to stop. I don’t want that number to tell me what I’m supposed to do right now. 

Here’s to a positive year with nothing but happiness and sunshine, something I need a lot of in my life right now.

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I declare October first Annual Cheesecake Day. Every year on my birthday I intend to eat a slice of cheesecake. Last year it was a Godiva chocolate cheesecake. This year – dulce de leche cheesecake with almonds and crunchy caramel bits. It was beauty in a take out box.

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America, Eating Out, Food, madras, The H, Travel

Beach day on labor day – Capitola Beach

Over a year of living in California and towards the last days of summer we finally went to the beach. I had dreams of blue waves softly caressing the white sand on a perfectly sunny day. Instead I got grey waters on a windy September evening. Capitola Beach was a pretty small beach. I come from Madras which has the Marina Beach, the second longest beach in the world so I might be a little spoiled. Or maybe I had high expectations for Capitola. None the less the beach was decent enough to last me till next summer.

There were quite a few restaurants around the beach. All that was very nice but I missed eating hot molaga bajjis and sundal on the beach. How can it be a beach without molaga bajji?! Americans are so weird, man.

The ratio of the beach size to the number of restaurants was like 1 : 8. We had dinner in a cute Jordanian falfalel place. Now that’s one thing I like about California – no matter where  you go, you are never far away from a falafel.

Go Falafel!

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I had the saltiest salted caramel ice cream at the Village Creamery, a must visit if you’re in the area. They have over seventy five flavors of ice cream! Say whaaatt!!

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America, Eating Out, Events, Food

Halalfest ’13

Last week I found out through Instagram that California was having its first halal food fest. Since food and I are BFFs I immediately searched for the location of said event and estimated how far it is from where I live. Half an hour? Not bad. An SOS was sent to Jay and Saturday morning saw me skimping on breakfast to make extra room for all the delicious halal food I was going to ingest.

We reached an hour and a half after the fest started. The stalls didn’t accept cash. We had to buy tokens that were sold at the two ends. In order to use time efficiently Jay and I each stood in one of the lines. The place was busy but as soon as the lines got smaller they ran out of tokens. We had to wait a good twenty minutes until they were replenished.

There were a decent number of food stalls – Indian food, Thai, South African and a BBQ place, cupcakes, shaved ice and bean pies. I felt the number of stalls for the amount of people that turned up was less. We had to stand in long lines to buy the food and longer lines for pick up. But I had come for my chicken wings and I would get them come hell or high water!

The South African chicken wings from New Africa Kitchen, Oakland were freshly fried and delicious. I gobbled them up while waiting in  line for burgers from the newly opened King’s BBQ and Grill, Fremont. The people making the burgers and the girls in charge were extremely efficient. I was looking forward to try the brisket but they were sold out.

We had a few more tokens left and ideally I would spend them on more meat but it was around 1.00 pm by then and the lines were insane! Instead we had a Caramel Scotch cupcakes at Rajabelle’s. The frosting was on point! So decadent! Definitely one of the best cupcakes I’ve had.

The last few tokens were spent on Hawaiian shaved ice which was a fancy version of the humble Indian gola, except you could get three flavors in one serving.

Overall I had a pretty fun time at the Halalfest. I just feel some aspects could have been better organized like the seating area and crowd management, but apart from that it was good for a first time event. I can’t wait for next year!

Below are some pictures I managed to click. There aren’t too many pictures of food as I was either busy eating them or buying them.

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