Thursday, September 20, 2007

Desi-Mac

When I was in the city, yesterday, buying my laddoos (and one other item of great importance, to be revealed later), I stumbled upon one of the legendary Indian McDonalds. "Stumbled upon," of course, is an overstatement, as it was pretty hard to miss; it had a 10' x 20' billboard inviting us to come inside and enjoy a "Happy Combo."

I went inside. It was lunchtime, after all, and I was curious.

The first thing I noticed was that the McDonalds was spotless. Gleaming, in fact. Rhythms from Om Shanti Om (which is being played everywhere, in the city) mixed with the noise from the televisions, all featuring Cartoon Network. Several of the tables were full, with kids in school uniforms and a few older people who might have been college students. Clearly this was a trendy place to be.

It was also expensive, by Indian standards. Considering that I could have gone next door and paid Rs 25 for a gigantic dosa, asking Rs 150 for a combo meal seemed to be pushing it. But I'm a "wealthy American," after all, so I made my way to the counter.

I was torn between testing a familiar sandwich and trying something new. In the end I picked new.

"I would like the aloo tikki combo, please."

The young woman behind the counter smiled. "Do you mean the Lakshmi combo?"

I glanced at the sign. There was no mention of Lakshmi anywhere. I spent enough time looking for the word that the young woman felt obliged to ask again.

"Lakshmi combo, madam?"

"Yes," I said, hoping that whatever Lakshmi meant, it would turn out to be vegetarian. ^__^

And then she asked me what kind of Coke I wanted. (In exactly those words.) This little American (Southern) regionalism seems to have slipped into India. It was a good thing I knew what it meant, because then I could ask "what kind of Cokes are there?" and hear "Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta," etc.

The food was served to me at my seat, and it turned out to be aloo tikki burger after all. And despite the shining cleanliness and overall cheerful presentation of the McDonalds, the sandwich itself was just as flat and greasy as anything I could get stateside. (It wasn't like the time I ate at an Indian Pizza Hut, where the vegetables were fresh and everything was 200% better than its American counterpart.)

The fries, of course, were McDonalds' fries. Exactly the same.

So... now I can check "eating at an Indian McDonalds" off of my to-do list. It was fun, but definitely a one-time-only experience. ^__^

4 comments:

Avinash said...

I was curious to see the desi Mac when I went to Delhi last year. Although I didn't eat anything, I tried to take a photo of the menu. I was told very quickly by the staff there that photography was strictly forbidden. I did try the desi KFC's chana burger. It was nice and crisp (probably deep fried; I don't want to know) and actually had a little bit of chilli in it!

Beth said...

Plus Indian Pizza Huts have that fun bell to ring! I ate at one in Kolkata with two pizza-loving fellows (one American, one Indian) and songs from Bluffmaster accompanied us. Although I hardly remember the pizza, the whole experience was fusion fun.

Daniel said...

I LOVE PIZZA HUT! YUM!

Yay for Lakshmi! Like Lakshmi Singh! I LOVE her! :)

Shruti said...

I like the variety of pizzas in Indian Pizza hut...everything from paneer tikka pizza to chicken chettinad pizza....they are super delicious...;-P