All I had left in my larder was saltines and salad dressing, so food shopping was in my future. The problem was that I was also ravenously hungry and nothing spells a really expensive trip than going food shopping on an empty stomach, so I decided to check out some of the local restaurants. Purely in order to save money of course…

I went up to Brookfield plaza and went to Ravi’s kabob house III. I had kabobs on the brain but when I went in, the place smelled really good and I decided to get something Chicken Jalfrezi. It was a chicken and peppers thing in a tomato sauce. Of course that sauce was amazing, turns out it was a Pakistani dish, my American palette couldn’t differentiate it from an Indian one, but it was amazing.

I took a tour around the shopping center and took a proper inventory. There was Tippy’s taco house, La Hacienda, an Afghan kabob house,a Korean place, a Vietnamese place, a pizza place, a Chinese place, another Pakistani place, and a south Indian/French bakery. Don’t laugh, the eclair was quite good.

Tippy’s Taco house was a fast food joint, there were a bunch of people chowing down in there of all different ethnicities. Mexican fast food can be decent, they even have taco kits you can cook back home! I might give them a try.

La Hacienda bills itself as a sports bar, it’s windows are all blacked out and there’s sound equipment in there, looks like there’s also dancing and whatnot. It bills itself as a Salvadoran/Mexican place. Doubt I’ll ever eat there, but maybe carry out, the menu looks pretty good.

The Afghan kabob lace has even less atmosphere than a typical strip mall place, but he cooks over charcoal, so that has some promise. I think it’s pretty much all kabobs there, one oddity is that they have the nicest take out menus of anyone there in the mall.

Nobody in the Korean place would give me the time of day, but it looks good, there were only Koreans there, and each table had a mysterious metal door in the middle of it. It looked like a pretty nice place though. I wonder what it costs, I hope it’s in the same ball park as the other places.

The vietnamese place also only had Vietnamese folks in there, it bills itself as a bar and restaurant, looks it too. It smelled good in there.

I’m less than hopeful about the pizza place. They had posters up of pizzas that any Yemeni would think looked delicious, but they looked pretty bad to these American eyes. I wonder if they are catering to the Pakistani and Indian crowd? I dunno, maybe they are just using stock photos for their posters and menus, but really, they looked really bad.

The Chinese place seemed to be the typical dreary Chinese take out. I’ll probably try it at some point, but I don’t expect much.

I can’t figure out the other Pakistani place. It featured a buffet which makes me suspicious, and it also was filled with tacky lacquer furniture, it screamed EXOTIC EAST!!!!! a little too loudly. Plus, the waitress was a south east asian, clearly hired help as opposed to the family business vibe the other places gave off. Still, the place was filled with what looked like Pakistanis, and the menu is making me think they may be the real deal, I might try some of their stuff via take out.

The South Indian/bakery place was also a buffet affair, and it has a definite cafeteria vibe to it. The food actually looked good though, and that’s saying something, buffet food always tends to be rather icky. Place was filled with Indians and/or Pakistanis, so that bodes well too. Like I said before, the eclair I had was good, and the other baked goods looked really good too. I’ll give them a try one of these days.

So there was all of that plus two pakistani grocers (one with a halal butcher) and a Korean one as well in this one shopping center. I haven’t even gone to the other Afghan and Pakistani places in the neighborhood, plus there’s a Hard times cafe here too. Maybe it’s a good thing I don’t have enough money to eat out all the time, I’d weigh a ton!!

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