Photo by Tarang Vaidya (He/him)
Being a foodie and having tried various cuisines back home in India, I always had a huge interest in trying out new kinds of food wherever I go. But one and half months later in the United States, I started realizing that my taste buds were missing some taste. Yup, you guessed that right. Indian food! The spice, the flavors, and the taste, everything that you can find in Indian food was being missed by me and I was on a lookout for some authentic food.
So, after looking out for various options, we narrowed down to one restaurant in the downtown area called Chicago Curry House. The uniqueness of this visit was due to the fact that we had Korean friends from the dorm who wanted to try out Indian food. Based on the spice level and our ability to handle the heat, we ordered some lip-smacking non-vegetarian food. We were told by our Korean counterparts that they too eat spicy food and when the consumption of food started, their reaction at the start and after a while was priceless. The spice kicked in late and we felt sorry for them since the spice was a little too much for their taste buds. But the classic Indian desserts Gulab Jamun and Roshogolla saved the day.
Even though we tried Indian food at the restaurant, we still were not satisfied. So, one of our seniors suggested to try out this place called Devon Street where you get not only authentic Indian food but cuisines from various Indian sub-continent countries. Our joy knew no bounds and it was decided to try out this place on a particular weekend.
It is a long journey to travel to Devon Street, at least one and a half hours one way. The exertion and the boredom were visible on everyone’s face but that disappeared soon once we reached the place. There are some places where if you arrive at one, you can feel the vibe in the air. That was what we felt when we alighted from the bus. As soon as we reached the place, we could see the places to visit, which were suggested by our seniors.
Back home in India, we had Ganesh Chaturthi festival going on. It was a perfect setting for us since we had to take the Lord’s blessings to start with our new life here. So, we went to the Ganesh temple called "Devon Ka Raja," translated as The King of Devon. We arrived on time for the prayers, took the Lord’s blessings, and then proceeded with the next things to be done for the day.
Our main intent was to indulge in some authentic Indian food. Snacks along with hot piping tea was definitely on our radar. So, we entered this store called Sukhadia, which was famous for Indian snacks. We had some delicious and lip-smacking Indian snacks ranging from Paani-Poori to Samosa Chat, and finished with some masala chai. The next place we had to visit was the Indian store called Patel Brothers which is known for selling various Indian products. Our joy knew no bounds when we found out that we could get all the products that we get back home. We were literally on a shopping spree since we just wanted to get hold of all the things that we saw. We controlled each other before realizing that this is not the last time that we would be coming here and finally decided to shop only for the essentials.
In the end, a day well spent. Starting with Lord’s blessings and ending with some delicious food. Although there was some spice factor missing, we were still happy to eat Indian food after such a long time. With this content feeling, we came back home to our dorms and decided that the visit to Devon Street would be a fortnightly affair.
Photo by Tarang Vaidya (He/him)