ORIENTED TO LIFE
How My Favorite Food Appeared for Our First Evacuation Dinner
When we were evacuated from our home because of possible fire danger, we went to San Francisco because it was the closest place that had power and better air. And we could stay with a friend.
The first night we decided to all go out to dinner together. We agreed on a restaurant that our friend had been to before, but we hadn’t. We decided to take the streetcar because parking in that part of town would be impossible.
It was dark and all we could see out the windows of the streetcar were bright electric signs whizzing past.
I wasn’t particularly paying attention to these signs, but all of a sudden one caught my eye: MASALA DOSA. Masala Dosa! Dosas from Southern India just happen to be my favorite food and restaurants that serve them are very rare. I am usually on the lookout for dosa restaurants in major cities, but with the fire evacuation I had forgotten to look for one. Yet, still, I found it.
“Wait, wait!” I called to Larry and our friend. “There’s a dosa restaurant! That’s where we should go to dinner!”
Now Larry had eaten dosas with me and knew how delicious they were, but our friend had never heard of them. But she trusted us to know good food, so we jumped off the streetcar at the next stop and walked back up the street to Masala Dosa.
A dosa is a large flat pancake, like a French crepe, served in various ways. It is made from fermented brown rice and black lentils (it’s naturally gluten-free), so it has a bit of a tang, like yogurt.
At its most simple, the dosa pancake is folded, like a crepe, with a spicy filling inside. In all it’s glory, the Paper Dosa is fashioned into a large, crispy cylinder. To eat it, you pull pieces off the cylinder and put the filling inside like a soft taco. They also serve Uthappam which is a thicker version of this same crepe batter, with the filling sprinkled on top like a pizza. All are delicious.
Though the ingredients weren’t organic, we all ordered vegetarian and everything was home-cooked from traditional recipes, and owned and operated by a local Indian family.
It was so delicious we all returned the following night because we couldn’t think of anything else we would rather eat.
Now I can have dosas any time I can get Larry to drive me to San Francisco. I’ve lived here two years and didn’t know my favorite food was only an hour’s drive away. It took a fire and an evacuation and a streetcar to lead me right to their door.