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Restaurant Sat May 19 2007
One nice thing about bicycling to work is that you can cycle out for lunch, and venture much farther than you might otherwise be able to in a reasonable lunch hour. I pedaled up State Street from Jackson to a modernized Indian restaurant called Vermillion on Hubbard in a few minutes. I sat in the beautifully warm sun at a sidewalk table, sipping tamarind carbonated water from a red and orange floral patterned patio glass as my pant legs were still tight rolled to keep away from the bicycle chain. I sipped quickly to keep the ginger-like burn from dissipating in my mouth. Red patterns on the table umbrellas matched the glasses, and went with the bright red door and sign.
The pani puri or artichoke pakoras sounded tempting but not filling, so I ordered a modified thali from the dinner menu: three items, plus rice and sauce. Pieces of soft melting purple-skinned eggplant came - spicy with a nice thick burn in plenty of ground spices suspended in oil. The second item, chickpeas with greens, weren't as flavorful as they should have been. But the thick eggplant chili coconut sauce really made up for it. The mango rice refreshed. And then came the modification, the artichoke pakoras - breaded and fried artichoke hearts - as the substitution that made this thali vegan.
Clockwise from top left: eggplant, cripsy papad, chickpeas, mango rice
10 W. Hubbard, (312) 527-4060