Death and Dosas

May 19th, 2014 § 0 comments

Saravana Bhavan is a remarkably successful chain of Indian vegetarian restaurants (33 in India and 47 in other countries) and is probably the only restaurant chain founded, owned and run by a convicted murderer. This unusual man is 66-year-old P. Rajagopal. He was convicted of murder, served one year in prison and then, inexplicably, was released. (The murder was a traditional case of older guy obsessed with a younger woman). When HG/BSK lived in Vancouver, HG became very fond of Indian vegetarian food. So, when Saravana Bhavan opened a branch in that city HG was an eager customer. Sad. The food was second rate. Vancouverites are very knowing about food so it was not surprising when the restaurant soon closed. A chastened HG returned to Chutney Villa in the city’s Mt. Pleasant neighborhood for his twice-a-week dose of dosa (thin, fried rice crepes); vada (lentil donuts) and idli (steamed riced cakes). These good things were dipped into sambar (spicy lentil soup) and a vegetable curry. This was accompanied by a variety of house made chutneys and cups of steaming chai. A very comforting lunch/brunch in scenic but rainy Vancouver. Chutney Villa is run by an attractive and welcoming woman. HG always received a warm hug upon his arrival. This is a lady who has never been convicted of anything but kindness.

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