If you happen to visit Raleigh/Durham area, don’t forget to pay a visit to Sai Krishna Bhavan in Morrisville. It is a South Indian Vegetarian restaurant and I found it to be a pure delight! I have eaten at numerous Indian restaurants across the US and this makes it to my top-tier list. I was at Raleigh last week ‘to fight a fire’ at one of our largest clients. One thing I miss when I travel is the healthiness of eating at home. Most of the restaurants I have been to I haven’t enjoyed eating at. The food is way too unhealthy to eat – too much fat, cheese, cream and too much portions. In addition, food isn’t very savory – they use canned vegetables which just takes the taste out of them. All these adds to a lot of calories also. Thus not-so.great-food and way too much to eat has made me look for healthy options all the time. But it is a drag to go to a Chipotle and eat their Veggie burrito bowl everyday for dinner. So I do end up exploring and visiting newer restaurants. After work Monday, I took a stab at Zayka. When I order food now-a-days, all I look for is some carbs in the form of Nan/rice and a lot of vegetables. Many Indian restaurants still haven’t mastered making a meal out of just vegetables alone. They HAVE to put too much oil and too much cream, which is just too unhealthy for me. Thus I end up eating plain dal and some Nan and roti. Keep in mind a single Nan is about 560 calories on average!! You will be eating most of your dinner in that single piece of bread – beware. Anyway, tadka dal at restaurants will have more fat than what you make at home. But I can’t have it all, right when I am travelling. The dal and tandoori roti (a lower – relatively speaking of course – fat version of Nan) was actually very good. Add a salt lassi and my dinner was about 800 calories. Now you may be wondering why I am making all these very personal choices public? The only way to become more aware is to know more. I have started tracking down how much I eat everyday and it has worked wonders on my weight and health. So if you aren’t tracking i.e., knowing enough of what you are eating, you just have to wait until you get that report card from your physical to start watching what you eat. I didn’t get any such report, but the doc said I can reduce my weight and cholesterol (from a total 200!) though and that was enough for me. Since last X-mas I have lost about 11 pounds and doing pretty good I should say. Anyway, Zayka was not bad.
The next evening, it was raining in the area. Rain ticks me off when I have to drive. The roads are dark almost always and the lines are hardly visible. You never know when you are going to make a mistake. Uneasy driving is what I should describe it as. I checked for a vegetarian restaurant and there wasn’t any close by. Sai Krishna Bhavan came up about 6 miles away. Not bad and I headed straight out. The roads were pretty deserted in that part of Durham area and when I got there, I was the first. The place was empty. The host showed me to my seat in a pretty modest setting. He was apologetic stating due to the rain there aren’t many customers. I asked him how the chef makes the dosa – is it thin or thicker? Thinner dosa are the norm in USA and they aren’t good as they take away the very essence of a dosa. Moreover, dosas in USA have a lot of potato which is pretty useless food anyway – I am hating potatoes now-a-days! He recommend the MLA Pesarottu – it is sort of dosa – a Telugu dish – made of wheat instead of rice and filled with upma (cream of rice dish) instead of the normal potato-ey filling. Finally I said yes to it and ordered a idli-vada combo. The idli-vada was surprisingly good and I knew I won’t be disappointed. The pesarattu when it came was actually excellent – felt very healthy. I complimented the host for the food. All the while I was the only customer and he started chatting with me – I didn’t mind it on that dreary rainy day. When it came time to pay for the food, I discovered I had left my wallet behind in the hotel :). I have done this a few times and it can be embarrassing. I called up my wife and gave him the credit card number and that was that – all over w/o much of an issue. I decided I will come back for the lunch buffet on the way to airport. All in all, it was the surprise for the day – that of an excellent find. And you won’t believe my tab was about $13!!