2 Thumbs Up!!
Although we had a very enjoyable outing with Bangladeshi food, Carol and Claire are actually giving a thumbs up for their tennis matches! The 3 of us celebrated our Monday morning wins with a dining adventure to "All Bengal". I should have told Claire to hold up 2 thumbs. She actually won 2 (3 hour) matches in a 24 hour period!
People Encounter... at the Counter!
Here are I am with my new friends, Omar and Faruk! Omar was picking up carry outs, so I figured I'd ask him about food suggestions. Turns out Omar is from Tanzania (and nope, there are no Tanzanian restaurants in Houston, that's why he comes here) But he was very enthused about the beef samosas he had just ordered. He even opened the foil and offered one to me. Piping hot and delish...and oh yes, very greasy! 2+2 bonus points for Omar and Faruk.
For your Reading Pleasure!
Seeing menus and newspapers in another language, always adds to the authenticity of the experience. But I should have inquired about the language here? I know 98% of the population of Bangladesh speak Bengali, but is this Arabic text on the newspaper? Hmm?
I do like the sign on the restroom door! (I really must start taking photos of restroom signs) 1 bonus point for witnessing a different written language. I welcome any info from readers (especially those living in Dhaka...Audrey?)
Carol in the Blog!
1 Bonus point for getting another friend into the blog! Not only was Carol game to try this little place, with its barred windows, in a not so attractive part of Bellaire Blvd. But she was willing to be photographed after a 3 hour tennis match! She looks darn good for that! And look how she's getting into the best part of adventure dining...chatting with strangers!
I believe Carol was asking about a drink on the menu called, Lassi. We ended up sharing one and it was a creamy, milk based curiosity.
The Store Helped us Communicate!
2 bonus points for having a store attached! I love seeing the foods that are shipped in from faraway places!
Faruk actually took me into the attached store at one point. Since my friend Audrey, who now lives in Bangladesh had mentioned "Dal Turka", I asked Faruk what it was. Faruk didn't know enough English to explain, so he took me into the store and picked up a bag of something that looked like green lentils. A veggie dish, I presume? 1 bonus for communication which involved props! I really felt like I was in another country!
The Store and More
I was enjoying all the mystery bags and cans in the store, when Carol called me over to a window in a small hallway!
I'm really not sure if we were supposed to be watching this guy, who was cutting some kind of beef... but it was very entertaining. It made me glad we had just ordered chicken dishes.
The machine was pretty awesome, though. It reminded me of a bandsaw I used back in college, working on a theatre set crew. That was fun. I bet I would be good at meat cutting!
2 bonus points for a behind the scenes peek!
Authentic Bengali Food!
The triangles on the left are samosas. Yum. The circular mystery saucers were fried and filled with air, then dipped in a spicy green sauce. (minus 1 bonus point for no filling) The 2 crunchy things in the small bowl were a mystery as well. I wish Faruk could have communicated a little better. The rice dish, called CHICKEN BIRYANI was the real deal!
My friend Audrey had suggested it, and so did our friend, Omar. He said they used free range chicken! It was marinated in special Bengali herbs and spices for 10 -12 hours in a clay oven, then mixed with rice, tomato, bell peppers and lemon! Yea! The curry chicken on the right was tender and had lots of extra sauce. We had to remind Faruk to bring our piping hot Naan bread! Very yummy with the extra curry sauce!
5 points for Authentic food at All Bengal!
Enjoyable Atmosphere Leads to Good Conversation
So what will we remember about this place? I know I'll remember the food and our fun friends we met, but we actually lingered long enough to just enjoy our own visiting as well. Our converstion went off on a lot of travel tangents. I loved hearing Claire's stories of living in Venezuala and Columbia. I loved hearing Carol's news about an upcoming trip to Europe. 2 bonus points for a dining adventure that left me thinking about Bangledesh, South America and Europe for the rest of the day!
17 Points for "All Bengal Sweets and Restaurant"
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.