Oh my glarb, you guys, we've been so sick here! The Mother of All Colds set up residence in Logan's lungs, and then jumped to mine after a week. Lo, the house has echoed these many days with the racking coughs of an unhappy couple.
Basically, it's been disgusting here for, like, three weeks, and we are SO ready to be DONE.
A couple of weekends ago, we were really feeling something comforting. And the dish we find most comforting on the weekends is Hot Breads' pesarattu upma. Hot Bread's version is a dosa, or Indian crepe, made from a green lentil batter and filled with upma. I think of upma as Indian cream of wheat. It's a thick porridge of semolina (usually, though in Mumbai our sweet hostess made us one with oats), usually flavored with curry leaves and/or peppers and/or mustard seeds, with a few small lentils and maybe a cashew or two thrown in for flavor. The pesarattu upma is served with a couple of chutneys and a sambhar. We destroyed it quickly, while the dosa was still crisp.
On the side we had a heaping dish of gobi manchurian, fried perfectly, nice and spicy and a little sweet. This is one of my favorite Indo-Chinese dishes anywhere.
Lastly, a dish of chicken tikka kebab. I don't know if this is just our luck, but generally we've been happier with the vegetarian dishes we've ordered at Hot Breads. The chicken was pretty dry, but wrapping it in a little naan with some chutney and a sliver of onions improved things a bit. We ended up taking most of it home, where Logan turned it into a weeknight curry.
The people that run Hot Breads have been generally quite nice to us. When we were there, a young couple was having trouble calming their unhappy baby, and the manager brought out a free slice of cake for him.
Often, there's terrific Bollywood dance numbers on the TV, too. A little ambience for the customers.
Over the last few months, Hot Breads has become one of our weekend go-tos, even though they're a good 20 minute drive from us. This is due to the strength of their dosas, idli, and Indo-Chinese food, but we're happy with each visit to branch out a bit further onto other parts of their quite large menu. We'll definitely be back, perhaps this weekend.
Their website says they're super proud of their baked goods, but we've never tried them.
Hot Breads is at 7318 McNeil Drive in northwest Austin. (512) 249-9109.