I couldn’t resist: Happy 4th of July to all my American readers!
I spent my Independence Day at work, trading jokes with Brits about how things went completely downhill for them after 1776. Not very original. Actually, not very funny, either. But a nice change from talking about the weather (which really has been rubbish, by the way).
Envious of reports coming back from the U.S. about barbecues, fireworks and summer weather, I still managed to enjoy myself today.First, several coworkers and I met a former colleague (wow, I’ve been here long enough to have former colleagues) at a Keralan restaurant near Oxford Circus. The place was a true dive, right down to the dirty, unattractive bathroom in the basement. How do I know it was Keralan cuisine? Well, it just so happens the place is named “The Keralan Restaurant.”
I’d stop by only if I were on Oxford Street and craved dosas, which were pretty tasty at the restaurant – a crisp crepe outside and a tasty mushy potato inside. The parathas were also good, reminding me of the best type of oily, hot bread you get when you order roti canai at a Malaysian place. The other seven or eight dishes I tried were so-so. Probably more appealing are the 1L-size bottles of Kingfisher available. Total tab for lots of food and drinks was £24 per person.
After dinner, I hopped on the Victoria Line back to my neighborhood and met Jon and our some of American friends for drinks at Desperados. We couldn’t think of anything more American than Tex-Mex, so margaritas it was at £17 per pitcher. Good times.
The decor is total kitsch, but what puts Desperados on the map is the fact that Tony Blair and Gordon Brown struck their infamous deal inside this very restaurant. Obviously nothing could be more July 4th than dinner at an Indian restaurant followed by drinks at a sub-par Mexican restaurant.
And what could make me more proud to be an American than I already am? Definitely the news that an American 23-year-old beat Kobayashi in today’s annual Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest.