Welcome back! I took a little vacation after the contest, but here I am again, back in full glory.
This week's Friday Food post could only be less photogenic if I showed no pictures at all. But it does prove that looks aren't always an indicator of worthiness.
I finally stopped by a place local to me (Eden Prairie) that I've been meaning to visit for quite a while.
India Spice House, located in a strip mall in a former auto body shop, near an Applebee's and across from Wendy's and Taco Bell. Seriously. Can you see why it took me a while to get the urge to check it out? But thanks to Minnesotan Raghavan Iyer and his splendid book, 660 Curries, I've developed a strong interest in learning to cook Indian food, which at times requires ingredients not easily found at other grocery stores.
When I first stepped inside, it quickly became clear that I should have done more homework. Namely, this is not just a grocery store, but a restaurant with what smelled and looked like quite a decent lunch buffet. Unfortunately, I'd just had lunch--poor planning on my part.
The grocery store is fascinating, packed full of intriguing things:
Stacks and stacks of all varieties of dal.
Giant bags of roasted fennel seeds. I don't even really like fennel, but it pleased me nonetheless to have them so readily available.
Fresh and frozen veggies, some standard grocery store fare, some not.
I have not the slightest idea what these are. And that pleases me.
So--in terms of attractiveness, not so much. But the store (and the adjoining restaurant) were busy with non-blonde-Scandinavian types, the staff at the store was friendly (and no doubt I could have asked them questions, but sometimes I'm stubborn and like to figure things out myself), the prices seemed very reasonable. Now that I know it's there, my copy of 660 Curries and I are about to become even better friends.