How to Decide?
There are over 100 Indian restaurants listed for Houston on the UrbanSpoon website. How do you pick? I could have just driven down Hillcroft in the Mahatma Gandhi district. Or I could have pressed my Indian friends or neighbors for more suggestions. But I never get a firm answer, since they all seem to prefer home cooking So we trusted our friends the Gergelys. They are Hungarian, but lived in India, where their sons were born.
Right Here in Sugar Land
There is nothing unusual about the name or the appearance of this restaurant on Williams Trace and Hwy 6.
But this is the place the Gergleys have been returning to since they moved to the area about 14 years ago. Margit raves about the food.
2 bonus points for not having to leave Sugar Land for a change!
Not New to the Blog!
This is not Margit's first time in the blog, so no bonus points for that. But 3 bonus points for Margit's enthusiasm, telling me about the different selections on the lunch buffet! Margit's husband, Ivan was most excited about the Egg Pullao (I think it is called), which is a rice dish with boiled eggs. That was the favorite dish made by the nanny who worked in their home in India. I thought the dish was pretty good, but I mostly liked the idea of imagining a nanny who cooked mouthwatering dishes! Margit said the nanny also prepared wonderful French dishes. Margit ended up teaching her to cook Hungarian food, as well. "She ended up cooking them better than me!"
2 Bonus points for a dish that's brings up good memories. That "nanny" must have been really good with the children ...or they would they would have called her the "cook" who watched the kids.
And a full table! We had a few new faces to the blog, so 2 bonus points for that! We had an added treat when Mate and Sarah were able to join us for our lunch ...or breakfast to them. They were recovering (and celebrating) after recently completing grueling exams ...the kind that make most of us never consider med school!
5 bonus points for enjoying good food with pleasant company! Our conversation went in many directions, but I loved most hearing the stories of India. Mate was too young to remember living in India, but I'll add 2 bonus points for the fact he was born there. Always searching for any little twist to make a dining adventure more authentic!
The frothy Mango Lasi in the chilled mug, would have been enough for lunch by itself. But I had 2 heaping plates of food, as well! I loved the samosas and the curry dishes. I probably liked the Sag Paneer (spinach and cheese) best.
I also liked having the naan bread served hot at the table. We even had garlic naan, which is a first for me! 1 bonus point there. And for dessert, I managed to find just enough room for Kheer (rice pudding) and 1 moist ball of Gulab Jumun...oozing with sweet!
5 Points for food at Cafe India!
A Shy People Encounter
There was a friendly feel about the cafe. Our server was gracious and chatty and even a fellow diner stepped in, offering to take our photo at one point.
But our best moment was when we met the cook, Jaktar. When I asked our server if she could convince him to come out, she warned us that he was a bit shy. But when he emerged, he recognized the Gergelys. He's been chef as long as they've been coming. He was very humble when we praised his good cooking. He seemed flattered when I asked to get him in a picture. I'm afraid Jaktar got very serious just in time for the camera's click. We'll capture his smile next time! 5 bonus points for our shy chef!
TOTAL of 25 POINTS for CAFE INDIA!
Cafe India didn't rack up points for curious decor or music or costumes, like some restaurants. 25 points...all for good food and people!
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.