I think about a world to come where the books were found by the golden ones, written in pain, written in awe by a puzzled man who questioned, "What are we here for?" All the strangers came today and it looks as though they're here to stay.

-David Bowie "Oh! You Pretty Things"

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bombay Cuisine

I used to go to Bombay Cuisine when I was in high school. The parents of my friend Monica owned the place and two or three of my friends worked there. It was impossible to get a sense of how fine their cuisine was back then considering all I ever ate at restaurants was hamburgers. The only real memory of Bombay I have from back then was when a waiter made a joke to which I responded, "Haha. Charade you are." He called out my Pink Floyd reference and we had a long discussion about the best Floyd album out there, Animals, an album that I'd been listening to pretty obsessively at the time.

A couple weeks ago I was hanging out in my friend Joe's basement and this amazing smell wafted down the stairs. We don't go upstairs at Joe's. There's no really good reason. We just don't do it. But what I determined from my frightened position at the base of the stairs was that Joe's parents had possibly made some Indian food. Whether or not my hypothesis was correct, one thing remained true: I had a strong desire to eat some good Indian food. This began an inquiry that lead me back to Bombay Cuisine.

When I returned to Bombay Cuisine my head was full of question marks. I had no idea if the restaurant still belonged to the family of my good friend. I also had no idea how to approximate the taste of the food I smelled at Joe's parent's house according to the words I was seeing. This was not a problem, because the waitress basically explained the entire menu to us in a quick and succinct fashion. She provided a program that allowed me to process the fragmented and conflicting data in my brain. She said nothing about Pink Floyd, but she did give me confidence that I was going to love this experience.

I ordered the Lamb Vindaloo, a spicy dish that mixes lamb and potatoes with a tamarind sauce. It was a magnificent mix of sweet and spicy that left me feeling satisfied to the point of enlightenment. (No, this is not an Indian joke; it is an apt description of my feelings after eating the Lamb Vindaloo.) The naan bread that we ordered with our meals was tasty as well. I used mine to wipe up the Vindaloo sauce.

When I returned to Bombay Cuisine to take pictures for this blog entry, I was greeted by an old friend. His name is Dave and he's engaged to my friend Monica. Bombay Cuisine, it seems, is still in the good, caring hands of people I adore, and that makes me happy. It's a two-fold happiness. First, I am happy that I came to understand how amazing the food was before I could be biased by the love of my friends who run the place. Second, I am happy to find that I am in love with and wish to promote via my blog the business of a group of people that I adore.

You should go to Bombay Cuisine for the food. I can't guarantee that there's anyone knowledgeable about Pink Floyd albums there, but I can guarantee that there is at least one person on the payroll who knows a whole lot about Frank Zappa. So there's your second reason for going.

Bombay Cuisine
1420 Lake Drive SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

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