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It was an unpleasant evening of rain and misery not unlike many others in which my conscious told me unexpectedly, “Get out of your dorm room, you’re a loser who has limited amounts of friends on campus.” I would have normally proceeded to have told my conscious out loud, possibly in front of my roommate, “Shut up conscious, you’re nothing but a little voice that lives in my head with limited amounts of friends, you’re the loser.” But in this case, whatever pronoun my conscious takes form in was beyond accurate. I did have limited amounts of campus friends and very much unlike my conscious, to live a life of fulfillment is much better if you have companions in any form. So I set out by myself alongside my iPhone 5s and a pair of 7/11 headphones to conquer whatever I was about to conquer.
All the motivation from my conscious about life fulfillment and friend finding lasted for 300 feet or so and then I got hungry. Hungry has been a constant so far in college. The good old freshman 15, a mere fable tale along the lines of something like The Ugly Duckling, is real, and I’ve been experiencing what seems to be the everlasting effects. At this point, caring about your body weight seems so pretentious and current, I’m sick of it. Food labels and the daily value system that millions of Americans rely on don’t apply to me anymore after stepping foot in the collegiate setting. So I now scour the streets of Providence, alone, looking for food of any sort that I can put my mouth around to forget about my declining health.
Eating excessively while trying to maintain some form of financial stability is hard, but perhaps even harder is finding food that fills the blank of being good. That unpleasant evening of rain and misery was also the evening I noticed I might have just blown through $1000 within the first month of school on jjigae and beef patties. As much as it was a shock, falling back on dining hall food was out of the option as eating canned beets with baby corn was so 12th grade. When such dire situations brew, Yelp is a reliant factor regarding de-escalation. With under four finger to screen clicks, my restaurant search for affordable but yet delicious in the vicinity of three miles was narrowed down to a selection of ten establishments. I was happy again.
Kabob and Curry, located on Thayer Street, was what I settled for. Before I begin to describe the ambiance, I will make one thing clear. When reading the start of restaurant reviews in which the writer describes the ambiance of whatever ethnic eatery as “It felt like I was transported to a small street in Thailand” or “The decor made me feel as if I was taken to a market in Mexico City” makes me want to use physical action against the writer and I wear bandanas, so I’m clearly not a violent person. Kabob and Curry had relatively nice orange colored walls with the occasional Ganesh figurine but then again so does my house. So I guess Kabob and Curry did transport me with their ambiance, to my parent's house, in Newtown, Connecticut.
The decor matched with the attitude of every staff member I encountered, warm, comforting, much to the likes of my mother and father. The sole deterrent, my parents are incredibly white. A menu was then handed, and this sense of solace continued. Appetizers under $7, entrees for under $17, India was everything all those other Yelp reviewers had put it out to be. If it wasn’t was for my fellow companions, I could have spent under $20. Wait, my fellow friends were my iPhone 5s and a pair of 7/11 headphones that are physical objects who can’t consume Indian food as they don’t have a proper digestive tract, I did spend under $20.
After consulting the opinion of my father-like waiter, we concluded that a mango lassi was probably the best choice of beverage, to begin with. Indeed refreshing it was as I have been experiencing an increase in thirst definitely not associated at all with type 2 diabetes formed from unhealthy eating habits. The lassi, or as people on the internet call it, “The ancient smoothie,” is a yogurt based drink combined with either fruit or spices that are supposed to bring with it a calming effect for both the mind and stomach. It provided neither. What it did deliver was the notion that I could trust those at Kabob and Curry.
The lassi, while undoubtedly worth it, was just a beverage. What I needed was some real sustenance. An order of sweet and spicy Cauliflower 65 somehow provided it. Coated in some form of batter in which my taste buds detected garam masala and pepper, I found myself 2,523 miles outside the comforts of India, somehow transported to China. Just kidding, I fooled all of you readers, unless you have a passport and a plane ticket, eating ethnic food can’t actually transport you to the region in where it is from. But this Cauliflower 65 or Gobi 65 put me in a bit of a predicament. I was unquestionably eating Indian food, but yet the fashion in which it was deep fried then tossed in a syrupy sauce similar to that of General Tsao made it so Chinese. It’s possible this was because I was not eating Gobi 65, instead what was before me was Gobi Manchurian, an Indo-Chinese dish. Little to my knowledge, Indo-Chinese food has been around for centuries and wasn’t made up by some Williamsburg eatery trying to profit from combining cultures in which nobody from the restaurant comes from. Indo-Chinese was developed by Chinese immigrants from Kolkata in the 18th century that began to work in ports such as Calcutta and Madras. The cuisine incorporates the use of Chinese spices while offering dishes that feature vegetables over meat. Putting aside the historical connotations, the dish, packed with a heap of cauliflower florets, was well worth $6.
If I had limits and weren’t dealing with friend deprivation, the meal would have been over. But I don’t have limits or friends, so I continued. The success regarding the earlier encounter with mango was still lingering in my mouth, so the decision to order the mango chicken curry with mint and cilantro was not out of line. I wasn’t in the least bits hesitant as I usually am with ordering curry at an Indian restaurant as this was Kabob and Curry. Curry is their namesake. The chicken to sauce ratio of the dish was balanced. Floral, in the best ways, with the very notes of cilantro and mint apparent. What was most relieving was the absence of cream overabundance. To go on a rant about how heavy cream ruins curry dishes would be inappropriate, but I’ll say heavy cream ruins curry dishes. Paired with basmati rice, the dish was happily consumed in under five minutes.
My expectations for Kabob and Curry were moderate. I left feeling full with little monetary regret. The parental similarities of my waiter, the brief introduction to Indo-Chinese food, a curry lacking cream overabundance, Kabob and Curry was worth the little money that I had invested upon it and is worth a revisit.