Thursday, September 08, 2005


Cosmic Cafe

I'm not entirely sure what's going on. First, there's Galaxy Cafe. Now... Cosmic Cafe!! (taking over West Lynn Cafe location) Away, and into the solar system! All this reminds me of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, and this space craze seems a bit odd. These all sound like little bistros that might perhaps be in the corner of a space station, feeding astronauts with bags of ready-made food.

Not that I have any problem with this; I welcome references to outer space in food. I still haven't been to Mars Restaurant & Bar, but I want to. I'm not sure if the deli in Sun Harvest counts. "Cosmic" Cafe *definitely* counts, though. It seems the owners of vegetarian Mother's Cafe decided to ditch their other veg restaurant, West Lynn. They sold this location to the Cosmic guys, who are *supposedly* from Dallas. I'm thinking it's more like M31. These people (?) are doing the vegetarian thing, too, so have no fear! Check out the menu at the website for the only other location, in Dallas.

This is the kind of place that is trying to be extremely... zen-like? Supposedly they have yoga there. Meditation everywhere. Very chill. That is, except for our waiter, when a friend and I visited there for lunch one day. He was SO hardcore. HOW ARE THINGS TODAY!!!!!???? MAY I INTEREST YOU IN ONE OF OUR SPECIALS!!!!!!! AAAAHHH!!!!! Totally frenetic (but cool) guy. My friend did make a good point that, really, he was the only source of energy in the whole place, so he was doing a perfect job. Basically, the place was still half-painted.. few bells and whistles.. Menu looked bland, etc, and didn't have all the items from the Dallas location. As of this writing, they are in transition.. Still moving in. So that's all ok.

These guys basically serve Indian fusion food. It's interesting and very worth checking out. Here's what I can tell you about the food thus far:

- Mango Lassi: THE BEST mango lassi I have ever tried. I normally like plain sweet lassi instead, but this was a great exception. It tasted like they used fresh mangos, instead of canned mango juice or something. Additional evidence of this: the color was not a deep orange or bright yellow.. but instead was sort of a washed out yellow. To me, it looked more like the real thing.

- Portabella Trance: All I know is that my friend ordered this and was blown away. It might be next on my list to try. Literally, he almost was blown out of the restaurant, through the roof. Luckily, the surrounding roads aren't that major.

- Eggplant Masala Pizza: I am told by a different friend that this is spectacular, at least from the Dallas location. It wasn't on the menu yet here when I went. Hmmm.. maybe actually this is the next one to try.

- Buddha's Delight: I'm not entirely sure this is what Gautama Buddha would've eaten, as many of the ingredients (like chili peppers and potatoes) apparently only existed in the Americas when he was around. That aside, this was a pretty good selection. It came with a lot of stuff, so I'll have to break it down further:

a) Rice: Not from outer space. Standard. Plain white basmati. Next topic.
b) Naan: Hmmm. Disappointing. I was expecting a real... like... Naan. Instead, I got 4 or 5 pita trianglets. I like non-existent words.
c) Samosa: Yeah this was pretty good! Not the best around... but enjoyable. On par with Madras Pavillion's in quality I'd say.. Spicy and potato-filled. The real star here, however, was the tamarind chutney. Sorry.. that's The Tamarind Chutney. There is a god, and it is called The Tamarind Chutney. I got blown away by this... even more than my friend by his dish. WOW. I was trying to dip everything on my plate into this stuff. The other chutney? Bleh. I think it was mint. It was tried and immediately scorned and rejected.
d) Dal: Certain friends of mine are way into this dal, but I just found it average. I thought they needed to calm down on the cloves. Also it was really more of a soup. I think it was made with Masoor lentils.
e) Spinach w/ Tofu: Hmmm.. I remember thinking of canned spinach when I had this. Were I to be a spinach-hater, it would be because of items like this. Maybe Popeye would like it.. but not me. Note: this was actually the vegetable of the day, so any other day, there might be something different on Buddha's Delight. Note #2: This item was supposedly a fluke. I've just had too much input from friends saying that the other daily vegetables are absolutely delicious.

I admit, the stuff here that I liked... I REALLY liked... and was Cosmic in stature. I'm willing to blame the earthly remainder on the whole "transitional" state of the restaurant. The receipt even said "West Lynn Cafe" on it. Not to mention people were walking in thinking it was still West Lynn... It was funny trying to count the number of those that promptly just walked out. Anyway, I'm going to recommend that this place definitely be checked out ASAP. Very promising place, even with the galactic trianglets, etc. All vegetarian... and local to Texas. I'll find myself here again very soon!

i haven't been to cosmic cafe, but in the intersection between buddhism and vegetable migration from the americas, i have also come across "buddha red pepper seeds" in chinese cooking. i am not sure if this is because the seeds look like buddhas or they were blessed by a monk in some past century. it could also be a new age phenomenon...i have seen buddha appended to some vegetarian items like "buddha tea leaves" or "buddha salad". of course you never see buddha steak or fries. there might be a buddha potato but i can't be sure.
Ok, the Portabella Trace, definitely one of the best things I've had at a restaurant. I tried their other Portabella dish a couple nights ago, the Socrates Plato. As expected, it was stellar. I must concur on the Mango Lassi. Best I've had in town. My brother's girlfriend said the same thing to me also. I must disagree about the naan. I don't know how authentic it was, but it was very tasty.

So, when do you plan to review the Restaurant at the End of the Universe? ;)
Yeah... about the naan.. my taste buds may have been clouded by expectations for what naan should be. Now that I'm in the know, I'll try to give it a better chance next time.

Perhaps I'll review the Restaurant at the End of the Universe "soon", as long as someone's willing to let me borrow a time machine they're not using. Anybody?
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Hey, check this out: now, Galaxy Cafe has actually opened a new location ... 1 block south of Cosmic Cafe! Competition in names, I guess, but not so much in fare (they're pretty different).
Nice blog, very informative contents. I also got similar to this one, would you mind if I ask you for a link exchange? Regards...
Lots of yummy things you have tried. I would love to have mango lassi.
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