Of course my sister and my food/drink adventures did not end at Virgil’s Sea Room. We then decided to go get some pizza and/or Indian food. Confused? It’s confusing. Also located on the edge of the Mission and Bernal Heights, there’s this interesting walk-in restaurant called Zante Pizza that serves Indian food, regular pizza, and Indian Pizza. Yes, I’m serious. They boast that their Indian Pizza has a naan-like crust as well as Indian toppings. We ordered “The Best Indian Pizza” with meat (lamb, chicken, and prawns). Clearly the lamb, chicken, and prawns were a bit lacking, but overall the flavor of this inspired pizza was quite food. If only the crust were even more naan-like though!


Pizza and/or Indian?!?

The Best Indian Pizza

I’ve apparently been spending a lot of my eating out times in the Mission lately. It’s just so easy to get to the Mission from my new apartment now (literally there’s a bus stop outside my window). My friend is visiting the states from Malaysia so we met up in the Mission and explored Mission Dolores Park for awhile before heading over to Valencia to find some eats. We ended up at Udapi Palace between 21st and 22nd streets. Udapi Palace serves south Indian dosas and uthappams. We both tried different dosas. His had spinach chutney and paneer while mine had spinach and spiced potatoes. I would say both turned out quite delicious. As someone from Malaysia who has grown up around many South Indians, my friend said that the dosa flavors seemed like authentic. Neat-o!

Giant dosa


A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of visiting the state of Karnataka, India for a class on Microfinance and Women’s Empowerment. Although I don’t have space here to get into the specifics of all that we did there, I will talk about one very special hour in one of the days, where we visited the Dharmasthala Temple in the Dakshina Kannada district.

So much more than just a religious institution, the temple, among its hundreds of other social, civil, and development programs in the region, feeds more than 30,000 people free of charge in its Annapoorna dining hall daily, employing 240 full-time staff just to keep this operation running. Every 12 minutes, a new shift of patrons is cycled through. We were able to take a quick tour of the premises, and I think in many ways, the photos speak for themselves!


Cooked rice being scooped into giant tubs for transport and serving


From the stairs looking down at the tons of cabbage needed!


A quick view of the dining hall itself – every 12 minutes, a new shift of patrons if cycled through; this is the only way they can serve the almost unbelievable tens of thousands of people every day!

This was a truly remarkable experience and to top it off, we also got to try the food – whoever said mass-produced can’t be good was wrong because it was delicious!


{fremont} chaat cafe

July 7, 2016

Chaat Café is like a fast food version of Indian food including the fast factor, but minus the lack of quality factor. I recently was in the East Bay and got a chance to visit the Chaat Café location in Fremont. I was so impressed by the variety of foods on the menu and how quickly everything came out. And, since there were real Indians eating at this place, you have to assume it’s at least somewhat decent. I tried the Paneer (cheese) wrap, which was wrapped inside Naan bread instead of a tortilla. It was just delicious and the cucumber salad perfectly refreshing! I would totally visit this place again!


Paneer (cheese) Wrap

Randomly driving back from the Sacramento area to San Francisco, we passed through Folsom and were quite hungry so we decided to look for a place on Yelp. In the end, we decided on Mylapore, which serves up South Indian vegetarian food. I was quite excited for this place because it had decent reviews on Yelp and it was actually quite filled with Indians when we arrived. I knew right away that I wanted the Paratha and Vegetable Khorma. We ordered right away and my friend’s food came out almost instantaneously. My food, on the other hand, didn’t come out for another 20 minutes, which meant we essentially took turns eating! I was super disappointed with the way the food came out even though the food itself was quite delicious. It just goes to show how service is so important in a restaurant setting.


Thali Meal

Paratha and Vegetable Khorma