2097 Madison Ave.
Warren is a big fan of Indian food. Me? Not so much. I usually like it okay once I get there, but getting me there is the hard part. We almost always go to the buffet and we almost always go to India Palace (On Poplar & Evergreen). When I say "always" I mean about once a year.
Last week was Warren's birthday and in the spirit of doing things he might enjoy, I suggested we take the kids to eat Indian on a Saturday afternoon. "Cool, let's go to Golden India," he said. "I hear it is even better than India Palace." I easily agreed since we can see Golden India from our front door and it was a nice day to go on a walk.
We had been to Golden India once before--right after they opened and long before we were parents. I remembered that we had no idea what to order, we were the only customers there, and two waiters stared at us while we ate, anxiously awaiting the opportunity to refill our water glasses after each and every sip. It was a little creepy.
When Warren, Satchel (age 3), Jiro (age 1), and I burst through the doors of Golden India I was somewhat disappointed to see that not much had changed since our original visit. The two waiters stood at the counter, each gripping a pitcher of water. "Um, uh, hi, uh do you have a highchair?" I asked as they stared at my two exhuberant children.
One waiter went in search of their only highchair (circa 1972) while the other immediately began filling our water glasses. "Do you have cups with lids for the kids?" I asked hopefully.
He stared and nodded.
"Ok, let me get the kids some food and then you can load up," I told Warren as I went in search of something they might eat. The buffet looked pretty similar to the one at India Palace. I scooped some lentils, rice, and samosas onto two plates and delivered them to the table. Jiro dug right in, but Satchel just stared.
"Just try it," I encouraged him to no avail. Instead he opted to just drink his water. The plastic top didn't actually fit the styrofoam bottom and water spilled everywhere. I was able to mop it up before the waiter arrived with a basket of naan and two Tandoori chicken legs.
"Ooh, bread!" Satchel said as he reached in. "What are these green things?" he asked apprehensively, staring at the basil flakes on the glistening naan.
"Seaweed," I said, like I always say when he asks about anything green.
"Mmmmmm!" he said as he took a big bite.
Meanwhile Warren was happily filling his plate with various things from the buffet. I ate some rice, lentils, the samosas that the kids rejected, and lamb dish (I think). It was okay. I don't think it was actually any better than India Palace.
Once Jiro was done eating, he wanted nothing to do with the highchair. I let him out and he and Satchel occupied themselves looking out of the window and climbing in and out of a chair. The waiters didn't seem to mind this behavior, but they continued to stare at us, and the feeling of being watched did not make it a pleasant dining experience overall. Warren enjoyed himself though and I think the kids ate for free, so it wasn't a total loss.
Next time I think we'll go to India Palace.