Saturday, December 02, 2006

Indian Delight

Y'know y'all, there is something to be said for simple courtesy. Holding a door for someone. Saying "Excuse me" when someone bumps into your chair. And acknowledging to your patrons that the wait for your dinner was unusually and inexcusably long.

Well, the first two things didn't happen tonight. But the last one? You betcha.

Case in point: Indian Delight of Catonsville. My sister and I had a hankerin' for some Indian food, and so we went to this, our favorite Indian restaurant in southwest Baltimore County (probably the only one, too). We were seated quickly and started talking about all the silly things we usually do - work, her husband's future post with the Army, maybe getting sushi with her friend from high school next week.

Well, our waiter came and we ordered a good spread. We debated whether or not to get their combo meals - really, complete prix fixe meals that don't give you much choice, but do give you everything so there isn't much of a need for choices. But we went with a la carte meals anyway. My sister ordered the karai chicken, mild - basically, "Curried pieces of chicken cooked with sautéed fresh green peppers, tomatoes, and onions," as it says on their menu. I went for the lamb vindaloo, spicy, instead - this time, instead of my favorite, murgh makhani (butter chicken - a regular menu item in their daily $8.95 lunch buffet), which I'd eaten as a tasty Whole Foods frozen dinner for lunch. Added to this were a basket of our favorite garlic naan bread (also available through Whole Foods' Whole Kitchen brand) and veggie samosas.

The samosas were wonderful - little wrapped pastries of veggies, deep-fried to perfection. If I wanted a larger waistline I'd eat them and nothing else. And the garlic naan was yummy, as always. Plus, I ordered some sweet lassi - a yourt drink often flavored with rose water, cardamom or cinammon. Mine had no rose water in it :( .

Next we waited.

We talked some more about work - about how she was overly stressed and how my coworkers and I all seemed to really like our new boss.

And we waited some more.

We talked about the possibility of rain and the strange gentleman in skin-tight workout pants and white socks.

And we waited some more.

We talked about the thunderstorm that never hit our area (well, not our part of it), and what the fuck could be taking our food almost 60 minutes to come out to us!!!

And then I finally gulped down my water in one fell swoop, to my sister's amusement, so the waiter would come over for his one and only apparent reason for mixing with the clientele (of whom there was significantly more than usual - almost ten tables and a revolving door of take-out orders). This reason? Refilling my glass. Sure enough he did, and I stopped him just long enough to ask, "Any word on our dinner?" I didn't put it that way, but I wish I had.

Maybe it was coincidence, but it came out forthwith. And the food was wonderful - almost worth the wait, even. Our chicken and lamb dishes came with basmati rice, which we spooned onto our plates in generous helpings with our dishes. My sister will not eat anything hotter than a peanut, so she passed on trying my vindaloo. And I just never got around to asking to try her much milder food, so I didn't. We each really enjoyed our food, but decided not to order dessert, lest we wait another hour! Lo and behold, our waiter comes out with our check - which only amounted to $40.20 after tip - an even split of $20.10, seeing as how each of our meals cost exactly the same. But the important part, the real clincher, was the waiter's apology on the staff's behalf for keeping us waiting so damn long! He noted that they were very busy, and on one Friday night, 4 tables could be full, others it could be 14.

And that's all it took for my experience to turn from "Why the fuck haven't we received our FOOD, asshole?!?!?!?" to "Okay, since you apologized, and seeing that your service is not usually this bad, it's forgiven. " We got the latter, which does not always happen to waiters with lots of aggravation to keep them busy. I've been in situations where the former was the case, and I haven't gone back to them. Indian Delight, though, which must have, like, two people in its kitchen, is a different story.

I guess that's what you get from a family-run, somewhat understaffed restaurant - service with an "Excuse me, but..." So Indian Delight just avoided landing on my shit list after all!


verity said...

Glad to know the experience turned out for the best. I've never been there. I'm a huge fan of Akbar. I love indian food!

Baltmore Snacker said...

Oooh, I love Indian also. Had a bad experience at Akbar the last time I went, though - unexpectedly rude service. One of the staff tried to run me over with a table! Oh well.

verity said...

Oh no! Which Akbar was it? I've always gone to the Charles St. location. Never been to Columbia.

Baltmore Snacker said...

Yep, sadly it was the one in Mt. Vernon.