Monday, June 30, 2014

Pondicheri: Breakfast

If you have lived in Houston within the last year or so, then surely you have heard of Pondicheri; the Indian cafe and bake shop located off of Kirby. Also, if you have been following along with the blog, you may have read about Pondicheri's bake lab in a previous post.

Well the past week, I finally stepped inside Pondicheri for a real meal, and the best meal of all: breakfast. Kelley and I were joined by our dear friend Katy, who was in town from Dallas, and our trio enjoyed an early breakfast on Indian-inspired cuisine and a round of good conversation.

Kelley, a regular at Pondicheri, provided recommendations and hints regarding the menu. Katy, meanwhile, had visited Pondicheri, despite Dallas roots, had was eager to order her favorite menu items. As for myself, this would be my second foray into the world of Indian cuisine. I took Kelley's hints with outstanding weight and significance.

In the top photo, you can see Kelley's breakfast--Beet Uttapama: beet infused rice & lentil fermented savory pancake with coconut, ginger and topped with a fried egg / served with sautéed greens and a chutney of your choice.

Katy ordered some morning oats--steel cut oats cooked with jaggery, cinnamon, cardamom & coconut milk, topped with fruit & housemade granola--and a Double Chocolate Hazelnut Basil cookie. Because of course....cookies for breakfast! Why wouldn't you!

I played it safe and opted for a rice flour Vanilla Bean Crêpe with strawberries and honey. And while my dish was delicious and an excellent precursor to the day, I regretted my lack of adventure at 9 am. I should have gone for a more traditional and authentic dish. The table reached a mutual agreement: Kelley had ordered best.

Pondicheri's atmosphere and cuisine exceeded expectations. Comfortable booths line large open windows, and the patio seating outside was just as inviting. Glancing over from our table, you could see a glass case filled with desserts and sweets that beckoned you to return again. Seated at the tables around us, men and women worked at laptops, utilizing the free wi-fi and sipped on flavorful tea. All the while, rich smells floated from back in the kitchen. Check out Pondicheri this summer in Houston, and try to be a bit more adventurous in your eating.