Monday, June 7, 2010

India House

Saturday night was a bit of a ‘last hurrah’ for the P^2 group. As two members will be moving to the Bay Area, we won’t easily get a chance to gather the group for dinner. We dined at India House where we were seated in the back corner of the restaurant. The bench along the wall vibrated from the air conditioning units propped up against the wall. The rooms were dim lit and decorated with traditional Indian colors and fabric designs. The place settings covered all the bases with appetizer plates and charger plates, multiple forks and spoons and simply folded cloth napkins.

Four of us have been friends for about two years. Chris, Tejus, Sindhu and I formed a special bond at Mansion in Miami Beach, FL. I had just joined the marketing group on the new products team. Chris and Sindhu joined the company back in January 2008 and Tejus shortly after in April 2008. We were in Miami for an offsite that took us through a Hispanic immersion and ended Wednesday evening at Mansion, one of the hot nightclubs in town. Our hosts reserved room in the VIP section where we rubbed elbows with a former “Destiny’s Child”.

Somehow, the four of us broke loose from the boondoggle and made our way to the general bar area. After several drinks, our friendship was solidified. We hopped in a cab back to the Shore Club hotel (team caught a glimpse of Spike Lee at the pool!). The best moment of the night was when Tejus yelled out to a man driving a pink corvette, “RENTAL!!!” only to find out that the driver was staying at our hotel. It was a moment that will live in infamy. We had late nite eats at the dive restaurant next door. Was it falafel? Pizza? Who knows. It was a great way to start our newfound friendship.

Back to India House… it was the four of us, plus three spouses. A group we lovingly call “wouses and spouses”. For those of you unfamiliar with Wouse, it’s a smashed word that means “work spouse.” Really, this is a serious term! Check out this article.

The three Indians at the table ordered a delicious array of foods for us:

- Chicken Tikka Masala: shredded chicken in a tomato cream sauce

- Shrimp Masala : shrimp in a spicy tomato and onion sauce

- Palak Paneer: spicy spinach and cheese cubes

- Baingan Bharta: eggplant curry

- Bindi Masala: okra cooked in spices

The food was excellent, easily the best Indian I’ve had in Chicago. While Chicken Tikka Masala is a tried and true favorite, I really enjoyed the eggplant curry and spicy spinach. Everything was served in these little round gold or copper colored dishes with tall handles on each side. We also had white rice and of course, naan. I really miss naan, it was one of my favorite things to eat when we used to go to Ambar India back in Cincinnati. The food was so delicious that I helped myself to more spinach and chicken even though I was beyond full. Good thing I wore my pants made out of stretchy jean material! Indian food is pretty easy for glutiods – except you have to pass on the naan, samosas and any desserts because there usually aren’t any options for you.

Later, we walked over to Fado Irish pub where we sipped drinks while listing to an 80’s cover band. With Tejus and Souymia moving to San Francisco, we all agreed to visit over next year’s Bay to Breakers weekend. The next hour was spent discussing the best group costume ideas for the event. Our two lead horses are: Scrabble letters (you can really do some creative things there) and PacMan. Let’s hope everyone is able to make the trek next year! T- we will really miss you!!!

India House Chicago
59 W Grand Ave

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