I Am Getting Comfortable with This Holiday Mayhem

FML! Oh! I mean, Merrrrrrrrrrrrry Christmas! To be clear, I am pro-Xmas. I am not in favor of all this holiday stresssssss. As of now, I have only half of my cards written, two-thirds of my gifts wrapped, and absolutely nothing packed for my trip to Minnesota. Heh heh heh: it’s gonna be a lonnnnnnng night.

Today, evidently, is a day for extra consonants.

Though I’ve spent most of it running around like a cat on meth, this week hasn’t been without its bright spots. One of these was Alex’s and my dinner at Pakwan, which I’d always meant to try but never had. Finally, my chance arrived.

[Image source: Yelp]

If you haven’t been to Pakwan, be aware that it’s far from glamorous. In fact, it’s dumpy: in possession of a linoleum floor, pressboard tables, and the sort of chairs found in church basements. The fluorescent lighting will accentuate your midwinter pallor, and you may be badgered out of your seat by hungry would-be diners. Don’t let these superficial drawbacks deter you; to do so would be a Great Personal Disservice.

Alex and I were famished and also couldn’t decide what to order, so we got a big ol’ heap of food: chicken tikka masala, garlic naan, achar gosht, bengan bhartha, rice. Pakwan is BYOB, and you can bet that we brought it: oh yes, we did.

That right there is the chicken tikka masala, which was, in a word, delightful. The chicken was tender (and gristle-free! = bonus) and the sauce was RICH, just as I like. I will say that I’d have preferred more chicken for the amount of sauce; I will also say that I have no problem sopping up sauce with naan — things worked out OK.

This blurry pic sort of looks like the terrain of an unnamed planet, but the subject is actually garlic naan — surprise! Flavorwise, the naan killed it. I tend to order non-garlic naans because lots of places overdo it with the garlic and I end up reeking for days.* To my surprise/pleasure, this naan was juuuuuuuuust right: a little garlicky, but not so much that a few brushings & flossings couldn’t eradicate ma garlic breath.

Texturally, the naan was so-so — it was a bit crispy in parts: a bit too crispy, if you ask me, and I hope you’re asking me. It wasn’t burnt-burnt, but the edges were a little crunch. Just sayin.

Our best dish, hands down, was the achar gosht. The lamb was the tenderest — we barely poked it and it fell apart.The sauce had a delayed-onset heat that, after about three seconds, hit the back of my mouth. Yesssssss.

One other thing: Pakwan is ueber-reasonably priced. Our dinner came to $30 ($40 with the beers we brought), and we had leffffffffftovers. (Those Fs represent the magnitude of leftoverage.) Nothing inspires holiday cheer like a well-made, inexpensive meal. Hallelujah!

In other news, I’m heading to the Great Midwest tomorrow — posts might be fewer/farther between, depending on My Internet Situation. (And really, the Internet Situation is anyone’s guess.) On that note, Happy (early) Xmas!

***

*I don’t mind garlic breath so much, and I rarely use the possibility of the condition as an excuse to avoid garlic (I mean, WHY would I avoid garlic?), but I dislike eating extreme quantities of garlic, esp. raw.

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