This is just going to have to be one of those times I say "You know, double-screw it" and skip months and months of pictures to get myself caught up. I may come back to talking about some of them (especially our Austin BBQ crawl and our New Orleans po'boy experimentation) and I may not, but I am NOT GOING TO GUILT MYSELF ABOUT THIS.
Can you tell how guilty I'm feeling?
I flew up to Michigan last Friday, leaving an unseasonably cold and frozen Austin for a basically seasonable, deep-frozen, covered-in-snow Detroit. Pretty much the first thing I did was drag Logan out for an Indian vegetarian street-food lunch, because I'd heard Neehee's was good and it was close to the hotel. Nobody wants to venture too far when it's 12 degrees outside.
It started snowing heavily while we were inside. Of course.
We have a little knowledge of Indian streetfood from going to places like Swad and drooling over travel food shows, but we were still quite intimidated by the level of choice shown on Neehee's electronic menus.
With over 100 items to choose from, and only two of us eating, overordering was bound to happen. We probably stared at the lit boards for fifteen minutes or more, trying to lay out our plan of attack, while pictures of their food danced before our eyes on flat-screen TV's scattered around the room.
Finally, the order was placed, and we retreated to one of the plain metal tables to wait for our tasties.
Crystal might have Justin in the Corner, but I have bored Logan in the middle of the frame!
So here is what we settled on.
Gobi Manchurian - basically sweet and sour-type crisp-fried cauliflower with onions, green and yellow, and bell peppers. My first bite, I thought it was too sweet, but as the meal expanded I was glad for the hit of sweetness and crunch.
Dabeli Sandwich - we saw one of these go by to another table while we were dithering early on and our eyes went wide, darting back and forth to the menu and the sandwich and each other's faces. "What is that?" "I think it's... a... dabeli sandwich." "I NEED IT."
It's a hamburger bun, filled with a spicy sweet crunchy smooth mixture of cooked potato, onions, peanuts and sev. Now I have another one of those new cravings that I have no idea how to satisfy in Austin. Lovely.
Although Neehee's has an item on the menu called a "Paper Roast", which they described as a 2 and a half foot long dosa pancake (we did see someone order it - it was AT LEAST 2.5 feet long) we stuck to a mysore sada dosa, a dosa without the potato and onion masala that's commonly included.
The dosa's insides were rubbed with a mildly spicy red mixture, and the pancake arrived with two types of chutney (creamy coconut and spicier red one) as well as a lentil soup. I love eating dosai - finger food!
Our last order came from the "pakoda", or pakora, section of the menu. When it arrived, I smiled at how the Mirchi Bhajia resembled American-style jalapeno poppers. Sure, they were in a lentil batter, and they weren't stuffed with cheese, but I'd totally eat them while sitting in front of the big game.
They came with two chutneys I've had before - a tamarind and a mint - except that these were hands-down the best chutneys of this type I've ever been lucky enough to enjoy. So strongly perfumed with their relative scents!
And that's Neehee's. I thought I had a pretty good handle on Indian vegetarian streetfood... but it turns out not so much. Once again, we find out how much there really is to learn in this big wide food world.
Neehee's Indian Vegetarian Street Food currently has two locations. The one we visited is at 45490 Ford Road in Canton, MI. You can even get a dosa with jam and butter for picky kids there, if you'd like. 734.737.9777.