Day Trip To Raleigh

I missed posting yesterday because we were out of town. Uh… Let me rephrase that… we don’t even live in a town! We were away yesterday on a day trip to Raleigh, NC to check out the State Farmers’ Market. It being winter, we knew the farmers’ market wouldn’t be in full swing. Our mini road trip was really just an excuse for a mid week change of pace. Besides, there are lots of Indian grocery stores clustered  within just a few miles of each other in nearby Morrisville, not to mention numerous Indian restaurants.

At the farmers’ market I purchased a large bag of farm fresh kale which I dried and rendered into powder upon returning home later in the day. After the 2 1/2 hour trip to Raleigh and the time spent browsing the famers’ market where we purchased some local honey we made a beeline to Shivam Indian Spice store in Morrisville.

The store wasn’t large, but was well stocked with Indian grocery items. We found many of the things I was looking for and more. Among our several purchases were hara chana (green garbanzos),  kitul palm jaggery, a couple of items containing amla (Indian goose berries) and a couple of sectioned stainless steel thali(s) (plates).

Before leaving the Shivam Indian Spice store we asked the nice lady which of the many Indian restaurants in the area she recommended. All of her recommendations fit my criteria but especially the one featuring South Indian cuisine which also happened to be all vegetarian.

We were vacillating between Indian and Mexican for our noon meal and in a search for Mexican restaurants our GPS directed us to a shopping center which happened to house the very vegetarian Indian restaurant the nice lady had mentioned. The Mexican restaurant in the shopping center was under a different name, so it was an easy choice to go for delicious South Indian food instead!

The all you can eat buffet of scrumptious birianis, curries, dal, roti, vada, chutneys,  raita, halva etc. was more than enough to satisfy us. We marveled at our fellow diners’ ability to consume such great quantities, making multiple trips to the buffet line, and in such a short period of time! It was all we could do to finish the portions we had initially dished onto our plates!

In addition to the regular buffet plates there were round stainless steel trays available which held four stainless steel ramikens for holding the various chutneys, raita, rassam, sambar etc. Freshly made dosa were brought to each table as they were produced from the kitchen.

One of our observations was that cold water (without ice) was served upon arrival and no other beverage alternatives were offered. I liked that. I’m sure it simplified billing at the end of the meal. Our final bill was $17 for the two of us! Is that a bargain or what!! Our fellow diners obviously thought so!

Upon returning home, Faye announced that she would gladly make the trip again for the scrumptious Indian meal alone! I have to agree that it was worth the 2 1/2  hour trip to and the 2 1/2 hour trip from, although there are some pretty good alternatives  within 45 minutes from home. Perhaps there is something about a road trip to unfamiliar locales and new experiences that is so intriguing.

I regret that I neglected to take photos of either the grocery store or the buffet at the restaurant, but this is where we had our fabulous meal. Perhaps fate will allow us to return for another fabulous meal!

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