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6 Catt. 1: In re Salt and Pepper Grill

2012 February 1
by CATTLEYA, J.

Opinion of JUSTICE CATTLEYA, in chambers.

On cold winter days, my stomach is only satisfied by warm and hearty meals. It was with this stick-to-your-ribs hunger that I approached Salt and Pepper Grill (“SPG”), a food truck serving Indian cuisine.

Salt and Pepper Grill

SPG’s menu includes dishes that one would expect to find at an Indian restaurant, like chicken tikka masala and palak paneer. Since SPG’s menu so closely resembles an Indian restaurant’s menu, it is not surprising that the culinary offerings are not true “street food,” as this Cart has defined the term.  See  In re Eat Wonky, 2 Catt. 5 (2011); see also In re Dangerously Delicious Pies, 4 Catt. 4 (2011); In re Sâuçá, 4 Catt. 3 (2011); In re PORC, 4 Catt. 1 (2011);  In re Hula Girl, 3 Catt. 7 (2011).  In other words, platters containing meat, vegetables, and rice are usually not cooked in front of you (rather, they are cooked in advance); they are usually not meant to be eaten with your hands (forks and knives help the eating process considerably); and they are usually not meant to be eaten while standing up (it requires a third hand to cut meat with a knife and fork while holding a takeout container).  However, that day I wanted a hot meal that would fill my stomach to the brink, which true street food does not always do, and so I will overlook that aspect of SPG’s case.

I ordered the chicken tikka masala, but SPG had just run out of it.  As it was still early in the lunch rush, either the dish was in high demand or SPG prepared too little of it (or both).  In any event, if you don’t want the chicken tikka masala to sell out before you get there, you might have to take an early lunch break.

Seekh Kabab

SPG recommended the seekh kabab over rice, with palak paneer, potato curry, and chick peas.  Feeling the rumbling in my stomach, I accepted the recommendation.  Below, I review each component of my lunch platter:

Seekh kabab.  Disappointing.
The minced meat was flavorful (probably from cumin or coriander), as well as spicy (perhaps from cayenne pepper).  Chopped green leaves, either mint or cilantro, were present.  (I note this because I dislike cilantro.  My mother tells me that cilantro is an acquired taste, much like uni at sushi bars, and that I will like cilantro once my taste buds mature.  I doubt that.)  Here, the cilantro, if it indeed was cilantro, was too small a dose to bother my immature taste buds, so that was not a strike against the seekh kabab.  The following, however, were strikes against the seekh kabab: 1) it was dry; and 2) it was a smaller portion than other meat over rice selections available on the street.  See In re AZN Eats, 2 Catt. 3 (2011); In re Tasty Kabob, 3 Catt. 4 (2011).

Palak paneer.  Excellent.
The pureed spinach and cheese curds swam in a delicious, creamy curry.

Chick peas; Potato curry.  Good.
Not much to say.  Both were tasty.

Rice.  Good.
SPG’s rice obviously was not the white sticky rice that is often associated with Asian cuisine and that holds a culinary soft spot in my heart.  See In re AZN Eats, 2 Catt. 3 (2011);  In re Seoul Food (The Korean Superbowl Case), 3 Catt. 1 (2011); In re Yellow Vendor, 4 Catt. 2 (2011). But I can appreciate other types of rice, such as basmati, and SPG’s white and yellow rice was very satisfying.

Roti.  Disappointing.
The flatbread was dry, tough, and chewy.

The bottom line:  SPG’s platter was very filling, given the presence of rice, potatoes, and bread.  The side dishes were delicious, especially the palak paneer, but the seekh kabab — what should have been the star of the platter — fell short.  Still, at $7, the platter did its job: it warmed my stomach on a cold winter day.

I AFFIRM in part and REMAND in part to Salt and Pepper Grill for revision. It is so ordered.

 

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