Some of the guests yesterday did not believe that the food was from the local Indian buffet because the quality was massively superior to what they usually serve. The secret is that the people at the restaurant love me and went all out for me. They also adore Klara who’s been visiting since she was two months old.
“Are you having people from your country or white people to your party?” asked the worker from the restaurant.
Since everybody in my country is very white, I didn’t get the question.
“It’s people from the university,” I said.
“So white people,” he said. And explained, seeing my confused look, “Americans, I mean.”
5 thoughts on “The Buffet”
I actually think it’s endearing when servers at ethnic restaurants ask awkward questions.
My favorite is from the local indian store which also has a small kitchen that serves un-restaurant like, homecooked food. A few years ago I decided to get this dessert for a huge dinner party I was hosting. It’s called Ras Malai; balls made from queso fresco, soaked in sweet thickened milk and flavored with cardamom, pistachio, and saffron. You couldn’t have two of them after a meal, they’re so rich.
Me: Can I get two dozen ras malais?
Her: For here or to go?
My sister always asks for a family-size ceviche in Peruvian restaurants. She eats it all herself while the waiters keep staring at the door, waiting for the family to arrive.
I never tried ras malai but they sound fantastic.
Not every place has it, but if they do, you gotta try it. It’s to die for.
Many restaurants start out as caterers and continue it as a significant sideline for parties, weddings, business meetings. Also, people who get catered Indian food tend to go back to the same 3-4 restaurants in an area. I see it with my business chamber meetings. So you’ll see a lot of restaurants with shambolic service in the restaurant but absolutely wonderful food.
The restaurant worker was making conversation but also trying gauge your crowd. “American” spicy is different than “Indian” spicy, especially with children. (I ate around the chilis as a kid.)
Unfortunately, I had to tell them to make it very non-spicy because this was not an adventurous crowd. One person seemed downright offended after seeing the food. College professors in the Midwest are not typical college professors. This is SO not the cosmopolitan latte crowd.