Saturday, September 20, 2008

chilies: so undercover it's not even googleable

this tiny hole-in-the-wall joint is sri lankan/indian party in the front and cold beer/convenience items in the back. chilies is a great little place next to pam's kitchen on 50th and the ave which serves a very limited, but tasty, menu of curries, soup, samosas, and dosais.

A. and i stopped here for lunch the other day. there's a bit of a language barrier, so be confident in what you're ordering and just insist that that is, indeed, what you want. while we waited at the card tables in the back for our food, we laughed at the random drugstore items on shelves, like the "macho" aftershave and "stick" deodorant.

for a tiny place, they had quite the selection of microbrews, domestic beers, and malt liquor. it was interesting watching people come in solely for the convenience store aspect of chilies.

this soup came with my dosai, but A. also ordered it a la carte. it's a tangy, tomato-based soup of potato, cilantro, cauliflower, and carrots. there was definitely black cardamom, fennel seed, and some other tiny, black eyeball-looking spice floating in it. whatever it was, the combination was tasty. my only complaint is that it wasn't (temp) hot enough.

A. also ordered the vegetarian samosas, which were bangers. the pastry was tender, and the filling was warm, comforting, and well-spiced. what really made the dish, though, was the mint chutney. i don't really know if it's technically a chutney (what is, technically, a chutney?!?), but it was grassy, fresh, and bright. though they look a little sad here, don't trust the picture. they were great. and cheap ($3.25)!

i ordered the masala dosai, which is a crispy crepe wrapped around masala-spiked onion, potato, and garlic. the dish is super simple, fast, cheap, and satisfying. the dosai also came with the mint chutney as well as some finely-grated radish...at least i think it was radish...it was white, a little fibrous, and cold. to be honest, it wasn't especially flavorful, but i ate it all anyways. my favorite part of the dosai ie the crepe's ends since they're so crispy and taste great dipped in the tangy soup.

i also snagged a pack of gum for the road (yeesh, garlic potatoes), and including the $.50 fee for using a card, my total was $7.06. thanks for lunch, chilies! if you're in the market for a 22 of camo ice and a plate of lamb curry, hop into chilies. it's seriously the shit.

NB: tip of the hat to Nancy Leson at the seattle times for these tidbits: 1. the cool, white relish was grated coconut, and not radish! interesting. and 2. it is, in fact, a mint chutney!

4 comments:

ndrwmtsn said...

good call on "grassy." that's what that chutney was. also really good, though.

White Pepper said...

interesting find. nice post!

Lar said...

lol nice pic

angela said...

awesome tip. will be sure to check it out esp since EVERY TIME I GO TO PAM'S FOR BEEF ROTI THEY ARE CLOSED. what's up with that?