May 9th, 2002

JOY

Raj Rogers

Mickey and I were stupmed for something to eat last night and to further narrow our choices, we didn't want anything too healthless. I remembered noticing the hunter green sign for the Tandoori Kabab House across the street from the Ballston Mall and suggested we give it a shot.

The building had a familiar yet jarring shape to it. It was covered in multicolored christmas lights and looked like a big white barn with a brown roof. And it had a PARKING LOT that was FREE, which is a virtual rarity in the Ballston area. Walking in, we first noticed it is very large for the average Indian take-out kind of place, and it had a very fast-food joint kind of feel. We ordered our kababs and sat in the rust-colored benches at an off-white and rust-topped booth along the windows and waited.

The food was fantastic. Anyone who lives in or is in the area should try it. Service was friendly, selection ample, and the restaurant was very clean. They have big banners up advertising their $6.95 lunch buffet which I imagine is out of control. The chicken was perfect, the rice was flavorful, the naan bread was fresh. Very little conversation was made during the meal, which as we all know, is a very good sign. But the food isn't the funny part. There is nothing funny about a delicious meal.

A few things started to look familiar: the fake plants in the long wooden planters, the low counter with permanent stools lining the room divider, the prints of desert scenes on the wall, and even the font on the trash cans. We were in a converted Roy Rogers. I had thought all of the old Roy's got turned into McDonald'ses and while I was struck with a twinge of disappointment at the loss of a Roy Rogers, I was happy to see the restaurant spending this reincarnation as something other than a McDonalds.

Our hunch was still a hunch until the unmistakable was revealed to us. Mickey headed to the mens room after we ate and saw it. The big wooden sunset. There it was. Right in the hallway to the bathrooms. A mark of things past and things to come. Sunset for Roy's, sunrise for the Kabab House. The circle of life, baby.
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