Upon arriving at a lovely church for the wedding of my coworker, Paul proudly announced that it was right next door to an Indian restaurant he had been wanting to take me to. Paul had eaten there with some friends when they were in town for an internet convention and had completely enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I have been burned by Indian restaurants and up until Friday afternoon had staunchly refused to entertain the thought of visiting an Indian restaurant. However, marriage is all about give-and-take, and I agreed to take Paul there after the wedding as we were not planning on attending the reception, anyway.
It was still early for the dinner traffic when we entered the restaurant, and I had a second to read the commendations at the entrance. Turns out, Woodland's was voted the best Indian restaurant in Orlando for 2009. Honestly, knowing this made me only slightly less nervous to give it a shot. Unlike when we're searching for baby girl names and I quickly pass up every name I can't pronounce immediately, I searched the menu slowly and was very pleased with the clear English translations for the titles of the dishes. I saw a few items on the menu that actually sounded like they could taste acceptable. Moreover, the last page had a number of vegetarian Chinese specialties that I thought would be good alternatives should we bring other not-sure-about-Indian-food diners with us on another visit.
Paul ordered the Chana Batura "Number 41" just because that had been what he had eaten before. It was big piece of fluffy bread with a bowl of cooked chickpeas and tomatoes underneath for dipping. You could actually watch the puff decrease slowly as the waiter made his way to the table with the plate. My Masala Dosai classified as exceptionally beautiful. The different colored circles on the crepe were lovely and the red lentils turned the potatoes and onions a nice yellow color. Fortunately, the soup was only slightly warm on my tongue, so I didn't fear tremendous heartburn later. However, the little green garnish that looked like bean sticking out from behind the lemon on Paul's plate was very warm, and I don't think the baby appreciated it at all. I started coughing tremendously, downed half a glass of tap water, and amused Paul and the chefs in the back of the kitchen who came out to watch.
I absolutely loved the filling from my crepe and the soup (even after the surprise pepper), but think I liked the texture of Paul's bread better. However, Paul was the exact opposite. He thought his bread was a little too greasy and loved his chickpeas (which really were seasoned to perfection). Either way, our plates were clean at the end minus the half-a-pepper I refused to touch again.
That being said, I was in bed by 7:30 Friday night with a very full stomach and a smile on my face even though my poor kid was probably suffocating from the heat.