Twain shall meatless

Pub date June 7, 2006
WriterL.E. Leone
SectionCheap EatsSectionFood & Drink


CHEAP EATS You’re probably tired of hearing about my dehumidifier. What? No? You can’t get enough of it? Well that’s great because it’s kind of like my curse, or part of it, to have to call ’em like I see ’em, no matter how boring or embarrassing. And I know this is embarrassingly boring, but I gotta tell you: Dehumidifiers are where it’s at, man.

I can dry my hands on a towel now and they actually get less wet. Things like salt once again work. I can write with pens, on paper! My keys aren’t rusty. I no longer have to squeegee the mirror every morning just to see my mildewy face. And best of all I can once again cook spaghetti without having to put on my bathing suit.

The timing couldn’t be better, because I just got the results of my latest blood test and my testosterone level has dropped below the normal range for men. After months and months of popping the little blue-greenies, I am finally running on “E,” so to speak. I’ve decided, almost arbitrarily, that eating lots and lots of pasta now will help me to have boobs, and that having boobs will help me to have a boyfriend, or a girlfriend who’s into girls. And chickens.

Speaking of which, it’s been four weeks now since I published my funny little personal ad right here in Cheap Eats, and the responses have slowed to a trickle. Let’s see, all said there were one, two, well, one response, technically, and our exchange of e-mails and phone calls ended in him asking me to fuck off. But not in those words. His exact words, I believe, were "go fuck off." The italics are mine. The fault being mine too, I had no choice but to eat my bandana and fuck off. Which I did. But I didn’t go fuck off. I just fucked off. I still have my pride.

Anyway, so, OK, online dating . . . check. Done that. Done with that. What was I thinking? I’m not in a hurry. I actually love being alone. I love people too, all of them but not equally. My personal preference leans toward those who aren’t stomping on my fingers or kicking my shins.

Oh, and, duh, I don’t need to place personal ads in this column. That was stupid. Cheap Eats practically is a personal ad. People write to me all the time, entirely unsolicited, and say, "I feel like I know you. I have this new favorite restaurant, and if you’re ever in the neighborhood, and hungry . . ." Which I always eventually am and am, respectively. In the past, I have not always been the best corresponder; but I’m trying, and getting better.

Give you an example: Around the same time, around four weeks ago, I also received an e-mail from a fan of my old band who wanted to send the chicken farmer a book about chickens. I gave her my address, got the book, which was written for 9- to-12-year-olds, and cried at the ending.

She mentioned in the letter her new favorite Indian restaurant in Berkeley, which I should probably review, and if I was ever in the neighborhood, and hungry . . . And she asked, in passing, for the name of my new band so that she could more easily stalk me, she said. She tried to make a joke out of it, but I took this very seriously. As a public figure, you have to. Someone uses that word, you have to err on the side of serious.

So I wrote back and said, in effect, "Complete Stranger, you don’t have to stalk me. I’ll come to you!"

Made a date, she bought me lunch, and I have this to say about her new favorite Indian restaurant: Mine too! It’s south Indian style, which is dosas and stuff. In case you don’t know what a dosa is, it’s yet another style of flat bread, like roti, which I love, and naan, which I love.

I love dosa.

But get this: no meat. We’re getting down with this awesome okra curry dish and dosa, and this other thin, crispy crepe-y crackery thing and all these other dip-into’s, a white one, and a soupy one with carrots, and probably you gotta figure some other things I’m not remembering . . . The point is: no meat. And yet: delicious, filling, fun. And cheap! Our little lunch came to $15.

All we talked about was food, mostly Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, and cupcakes, and curry goat, and Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. My new friend Carrie is not no vegetarian, and yet her favorite restaurant really is a vegetarian one. So let that tell you something. SFBG

Udupi Palace

Daily: 11:30 a.m.–10:00 p.m.

1901–1903 University Ave., Berkeley

(510) 843-6600

Takeout available

No alcohol

Credit cards not accepted


Wheelchair accessible