Tuesday, February 26, 2008

East India Co.

When I was younger I used to watch I Dream of Jeannie when I would stay home sick. I loved Jeannie's ponytail, the 60's music and the Major's uniform but I especially loved Jeannie's bottle. It was so girly, so pink and full of pillows and glamour. I could imagine myself in that bottle, lounging around on the couches all day and pretending to file my nails while giving "Major" the silent treatment. Oh how I wanted to be an adult, if I was an adult I'd sleep in until noon and eat cookies for dinner.

So not surprisingly, I've spent the past couple of nights eating Girl Scout Thin Mints for dinner (who says dreams don't come true?). You can probably imagine my stomach's reaction when the mere mention of lunch came up. "Lunch? Indian? What do we need to do to make this happen? Do I need to pay? Hire a sherpa? Get a camel? What, I'll do anything, I'm STARVING." Luckily all I had to do was walk up to 11th Avenue.

East India Co. just opened a couple of months ago and is located between Yamhill and Taylor. We (the geek squad) sat in a booth surrounded by a filmy curtain with gorgeous pillows strewn about and a lit star hovering above us on the ceiling. It was just like Jeannie's bottle and I half expected to disappear into a poof of pink smoke before coming face to face with Larry Hagman. But that thought quickly left when I was presented with the menu.

East India Co. offers three prix fixe menus for lunch. I had The Viceroy's Lunch and for $12.95 had a lovely salad of bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes and herbs in a light vinegrette to start. The salad was followed by Samosa Chaat--perfectly cooked potatoes in a crispy shell over garbanzo beans with a spicy chutney. Then the kebabs had to jump in and make me ooh and aah over their moist, charred flavor. By that time I was stuffed. But when our server rolled arond with Naan and the day's curry with basmati rice thoughts of fullness left my mind as quickly as Larry Hagman had earlier. I dove in with 1960's spirit and almost said "yeah baby" aloud before stopping myself (actually my mouth was too full). Could I really have room for one more course?

Now is probably a good time to talk about my philosophy on the human stomach. I believe that our stomachs are made up of buckets and that each bucket is reserved for one type of food. So in this case, after polishing off salad, samosas, kebabs, Naan and almost all of my curry most of my buckets were stuffed. But then dessert came around and who wants dessert? "Oh yes! I'll have some please." See, dessert bucket, completely empty. Doesn't it explain so much? I know!

So dessert was a soft blend of carrots that had been cooked in a saffron butter with golden raisins. It made the table actually go quiet, that's how good it was. Well, either that or the food coma was kicking in. Regardless, we don't get quiet very often.

It's probably not the place you'd want to go to lunch at every day (if anything just for sheer volume's sake) we were in there for over an hour. Our waitress apologized profusely and said they were a bit short staffed. But we didn't mind, it was actually nice to be tucked away in East India for a while. If you're looking for something a little quicker try their happy hour, the drinks sounded delicious and they run specials on food Monday through Saturday from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.

And keep your eye out for Jeannie, I swear she's around there somewhere.