. . . . From the desk of Ms. Ann Abraham . .
So I was just walking on the road, and went to pay my Vodafone bills. (Because I have no money in my card-account, and so I asked my father if I could use his, and he lent me his platinum card, and I used that to pay online, a while, probably two or more weeks back… Well, apparently, the card transaction did not go through, because I got one email stating that they got the money, and the next stating that the transaction hadn’t. So I went today to pay the bills by cash (from my father, through my mother and she gave me an extra bill over the amount I asked her. So I had three bills, and went sauntering out…))
I reached the Vodafone store, and took a token, and then went to the cash-counter and stated my numbers, and the total was more than I had imagined in my head. What a good thing my mother had given me that extra bill. So I paid the full amount, and sauntered out.
Was planning to get back here, but somehow took a turn to old familiar haunts, and the coconut man saw me, though I wasn’t planning to buy a coconut that time, just wondering where to go sorts… And I saw two others standing there, and the coconut man was cutting a coconut, so I waited, and to my surprise he handed me the coconut! I was so surprised… I usually used to buy a coconut there, on the way, so he assumed I was there for the coconut, and gave me before I asked. Well, I was just sauntering anyway, and had planned to ask for the brown coconut, of which he had none, since that was what I wanted… (I though I’d order that, so the next time, he’d have that). But he had prepared the usual coconut, so I drank that, and then fished in my bag for the money (which I usually paid before getting the coconut, but I hadn’t planned to buy that coconut, so I hadn’t taken the money out… But anyway, I fished out the money, and I handed it over, and ate the rest of the coconut, and went my way.)
Then I saw you, Pizza Hut, sitting there… I’d seen you so many times, and I still remembered the allure of being in a Pizza Hut in New Zealand, and the tangy tomato sauce on that thin pizza, and oh my GoD! What flavours on the Pizza!
So I sauntered across the road, and entered the haunt. Oh, I mean, the Hut.
It looked nice… a rest-room right at the start, was a good omen. I visited it. (and came out of it, too)
I looked around, and spied a nice looking room with tables and chairs and plates and napkins and forks and knifes, and the sugarcane sticks over the door, since it is Pongal season here, and sugarcane sticks are a sign of that….
And I entered and sat there… And twiddled my thumbs, and then a waitress came up the stairs, and I hailed her, and she asked, “Dine in or takeaway?” And I said, “Dine in”. So she said, “It’s downstairs”, and I was confused… So what were these tables and chairs for…? Oh! Showpiece..? Oh, okay!
So I sauntered down, and saw the desk with the computer screen to order at. And a menu lying there. So I started flipping through the menu. Then another waiter appeared… “Dine in or takeaway..?” And I said, “Dine in”. So he invited me to sit down.
I kept the menu and looked around. I chose one seat, then bounced out of it, sat opposite, and moved out of that… Moved to the seat across the room, and left that too… Went to another sofa-seat table, and moved out of that too… Then I sat in another place, and that was that.
I wondered what to tell the next waiter, but no one bothered me… I finally guessed why… The menu is so wonderfully extensive, it takes quite a long time to peruse through it.
I started perusing, and perused and perused, and then Ticked some on and ticked some off… and I started drooling (figuratively) over it… And thought, “Oh my God! All my favorites… and I thought Pizza Hut was all about pizzas only.. (Kept remembering that thin-crust pizza I had had in NZ in 1981).
There was pastas in creamy sauces, spaghetti with stuff on top, there was drinks with salt and no sugar.. There was ginger and lime, There was just lime, There was even Masala lemonade… Oh My God!!
So finally I ordered the most non-vegetarian thin-crust pizza I could find, which was the “PollO something.. “The PollO Heaven”, and sat back to enjoy the thought of that… So many different meats on that – tikka and sausage and what not…
So I ordered a fresh lime with salt in soda, to try that, and asked for it not-cold (maybe even hot might be good).
Then I could look around, I guess, but I was drawn again to the menu, though I’d already perused it. And I looked it up and down, and noticed that soup came in small portions too… So I ordered the tomato-and-basil.
Then I twiddled my thumbs, and again tried the seasoning bottle on the table, which I must say, was really good! I pulled one waiter and asked, “What is in it.. Oregano leaves, chilli flakes, and …?” And he said, “Salt”. I was like, “Um, what?” Apparently that delightful concoction is just oregano leaves, chilli ground and um, salt… (Which I later noticed, was not just table salt (Sodium Chloride), but some yellow salt as well… Um, what is that…?
And I kept looking at that menu.. It was glossy, thick cardboard, with pictures, and names and descriptions, and prices… And they all looked so alluring… And I read the descriptions, and I thought, “Oh I wish they made this with whole wheat pasta… then I could eat it too”.
I noticed the tortillas with chicken in it, so I pulled another waiter who was passing by… “What is the tortilla made of…?” And this time he was the one who said, “Um…?” And I pressed on, “Is it maida, is it atta..?” And he said, “Yes, yes, it is atta”. And I asked, “Corn flour..?”, and he was adorably confused (just a boy, you see) and he said, “I’ll ask”, and he disappeared toward what I assumed was the kitchen, and I never saw him again….
The next waiter came and leant on the wall in front of me… I couldn’t resist, by now… So I asked him a question too, and sent him packing too…
Finally my soda with lime and salt arrived, with a slice of lime floating on top. I grabbed, and “Oh no! It was cold!”. I considered telling the waitress something, but she had already disappeared…
I sipped it, .. and okay, “It was really good!” (Though cold, which is not um, actually acceptable, but I’ll forgive that, this time..)
After some time, the tomato-and-basil small-portion soup arrived, and I consumed that. Then I noticed the croutons on the side. Couldn’t resist – I tried some of it, but it was white bread. Still there was that lovely seasoning sitting on the table just staring at me with those big beautiful eyes, no, that was someone else. The seasoning was sitting just where I’d kept it, so I put the remaining crouton in the soup-bowl and dusted it with seasoning, and then I got zealous, and dumped the seasoning in, and poured in the tomato sauce from the tomato soup bottle on the table, and voila! I had more soup….! I ate that too… And left some too… And then ate that too..
After some time the “PollO Heaven” pizza arrived. And to my surprise, there were just a few bits of meat on it.. “IS this POLLO heaven?” Oh dear, I was disappointed. Maybe I should have ordered the meatballs on the skewer instead. (Somehow, people are very stingy with meat… never get enough).
Anyway, I ate that too.. maybe the meat would add up if I ate the whole pizza, so I did…
Called for the bill, and oops! There was humoungous tax on it, rounded off to the nearest hundred.. Or that’s what my final bill amount was – Rs. 600.
So I paid that, and put a little tip too.. And closed that folder, finished the last of the pizza, and then left the building… I mean, the Hut.
We stepped out on the road, and sauntered back.
So that was my experience, and this is my feedback:
1. Please make the pizza of whole-wheat flour. In fact the pasta and the tortillas too..
2. Please make the cheese optional. I topped my last piece of pizza with slatherings of tomato sauce, and that looked just great. Maybe the white sauce on pizzas too would be a good idea. (Don’t get me wrong – once upon a time, the more cheese, the better. I would even order double cheese, just to um, get more…. But times are changing. I have pity on the calves who don’t get their milk, so I stopped dairy products – milk, cheese, curd, yogurt,… the whole thing).
3. When in India, do Indian sounds good,, except that I had the “Pollo Heaven” which had Indian versions of the meatball, and I suppose I should once again say, “Hail Basil” And the Italian version of the pizza. After all, if I wanted to eat Indian food, I would go to a Punjabi dabba, or a Keralite resataurant, or a Saravana Bhavan, or something like that.
4. But the Pizza Hut menu had all my favourites – even
a. the peanut-butter looking pie (which was actually banana and caramel – um, can you make it of peanut-butter and jelly layers, please)
b. the smoothies with berries (but I’m off milk products now, so maybe just berries and fresh Stevia leaves for sweetening,, “Hail Stevia”)
c. The chocolate-cocoa-coffee drink, but please use whole fresh berries, ground and then boiled, hold off the milk, and add some Stevia leaves for sweetness.
e. Well, to tell the truth, I did ask them if I could take a menu home … (It looked so good, and they gave me the menu-flyer, but um, it has only the pizza listings, and so my musings have to stop here, because … I’ve just been dreaming about what I saw on that menu there…That’s a hint for : “Please update your menu-flyer that you drop in people’s houses, so we know that there are all those wonderful pastas and drinks and desserts to be had….!”)
5. Last question, I suppose – What is a Mojito?
Ms. Ann Abraham.
Chennai – 600040,
P. S. I noticed the waiter’s outfits – If you put an apron on them, make it a wrap-around, please. The apron looks as if the um, bottom is left uncovered…. Which it wouldn’t look like if the apron wasn’t there…. Hence, if you put an apron on them, do it completely.
P. P. S. For the filling of the edge of the pizza, consider this – make a long thin sausage of deer intestine cover – fill it with either a non-vegetarian, or a vegetarian stuffing, and then lay the sausage all around the edge of the pizza, fold the dough over it, put the topping, and bake it, and then voila! When someone gets a slice, there will be a piece of sausage on the side (of the pizza slice)!!
Why deer intestine cover..? – because pig’s intestine is not to be eaten, because the pig is not a food animal, as per Leviticus 11 – it has cloven hoofs, but does not chew the cud, and though the beef-animal has both cloven hoofs and chew the cud, it is of the order of a sacrificial animal, not to be eaten lightly, and so the ordinary meats that can be eaten at every meal are the other (animals with both cloven-hoofs and which chew-the-cud, like the deer, the antelope, the gazelle and the hart).
So this is what I want from a pizza, please:
A whole-grain base
And then a complete choice of toppings, all being optional, from the cheese to the veggies, to the non-veg.
A separate charge for each topping – may be the same, may be the different, all the same to me… depends on the cost of each ingredient, the transportation cost (whether local-bought or imported from another country, etc….)
And then of course, that lovely seasoning is already on the table, so I’ll just dump tons of it on my hot pizza, and then I’m done.! Cheers! And bon appetite!
My order was accurate – Yes, I ordered what I wanted to try.
My food looked appealing – The lime-soda with salt with the slice of lime floating on top definitely looked appealing. The small-order tomato-basil-soup looked good. The croutons were um, okay, I guess. The “Pollo Heaven” had only tiny bits of meat on it, and my heart sank right to my boots, I mean, somewhere down – I love meat, you see… which is why I ordered the “Pollo heaven” – it promised a paradise of meat to me, on the menu, but … well, we’re on earth, … what can I say..? Yes, please ask the waiter to ask if we want more meat on it… hmmm, Yes, I should have done that…
My food was served at the perfect temperature – The lime-soda-with-salt was cold, when I had asked for not-cold (but maybe “cold” was all they heard), and the “Pollo Heaven” was warm, not hot, maybe because they were waiting for me to stop perusing and drooling over the menu cardboard…
My food tasted great – The lime-soda-with-salt was fantastic. The tomato-basil was good, and the “Pollo Heaven” – ditch the meat tikka, and load more sausage, please…!