Back To Udupi Palace

A return visit. A has completely transitioned to vegan, and I know that a month isn’t a very long time, but she is one of those people who will be sticking to it for a long-ass time. I still don’t intend to do it, but my dairy intake has certainly dwindled down to random bites of gelato at work, and milk at cafes that don’t offer soymilk. Enough with the boring stuff – veggies and omnis alike love this place! Udupi Palace is located right between A’s place and mine – the intersection of our love. We decided to get lunch there before being wowed by Where the Wild Things Are.

*we interrupt the regularly scheduled review with my thoughts on WTWTA*

It helped that I wasn’t expecting much from it – I think I feared getting disappointed again like with Away We Go. It would’ve been too easy to get sucked into the hype of Spike Jonze/Dave Eggers/Maurice Sendak/The Cutest Child Actor in the World so I never got excited or made concrete plans to see it. But it was probs one of the most successful movie renditions of a children’s book, esp one that originally had a very minimal plot. Many things were handled perfectly and I especially liked the end. It was all the subtlety, I think. There were a lot of things that could have been included which would’ve been annoying/redundant, so the fact they were kept out earned a lot of my respect. It’s all about what you leave out. I think Dave’s humor shines when it’s not overpowering his writing (unlike Away We Go which was trying too hard to be a comedy) but when it’s running underneath sadder/darker topics. Makes perfect sense since he excels at self-deprecation and dry wit and…kind of crashes and burns when he tries more overt humor. Last thing: if In the Night Kitchen ever gets made into a movie, I’m going to pee my pants. Favorite Sendak book!

Speaking of delicious food, I walked five whole minutes to get to Udupi Palace to meet A. It’s ridiculous how many delicious, cheap veg places are within that five minute radius. I’d hoped the interior would have magically become less craptastic this time around. Silly of me, but I think if you call yourself a palace you gotta bring it. It’s more like the living quarters of peasants. Jolly, well-fed peasants.

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The place is always busy even in the afternoon on Mondays! Quite a few people who arrived later than us got served before we did, but no matter since we weren't rushed. Except being famished. I was just about to call that as a strike against them when the waiter appeared with these free papadums and dips as an apology for the long wait. Unlike most papadums, these weren't overly salty or fragrant and I could've snacked on a few hundred. Light and crispy like an unsalted pringle, and great with the spicy green dip or the sweet and sour chutney.

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Several people recommended the pineapple uttapam to me, but I'll never get over my pineapple-a-la-savory aversion so I opted for one with veggies (5.75). Luckily, pineapple's A's fav so I tried a bite of hers. Nope, still weird to me. But I admit it goes perfectly with the coconut chutney, which I'm not a huge fan of otherwise. Coconut and pineapple I can dig though. I swapped chutneys with her and took her spicy red carrot dip which was perfect with the pancake. Rice and lentil flour combine to make magic, apparently. Crispy crust, and super soft and doughy on the inside (almost wonder if it was cooked all the way through, but I also enjoy squish) with lots of veggies providing a contrast in texture and some form of vitamin content.

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My idea of a gorgeous landscape: golden brown and delicious as far as the eye can see. Sadly, I can't handle a whole pancake. 2/3 of the way through, you're bound to get sick of it. My main issue was the sour-y taste, which I'd rate as less than the dreaded Ethiopian injera but more than sourdough. I've only recently made peace with sourdough bread, and while this had many other interesting components, not to mention delicious sauces/soups to supplement it, I got tired of the bland-ish sour taste. I had to put salt on it because despite being sour and extremely spicy with the dips, I couldn't taste the flavor of the dough/veggies.

To sum up, I loved the first half of the pancake but its deliciousness decreased after that. When I saw the dosas of other diners, I kind of regretted not getting one. I’m pretty sure I’d get sick of a whole dosa too, so the only solution is to go with someone who will go halvsies with me. Can’t wait to go back!

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same as previously, but for some reason the room looked a little better in the daylight
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