The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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What the hell is this?

A weekly food column
 What the hell is this?
What the hell is this?

What the hell is this?

H&A, alive, and back on the air!  I suppose that all of our fans out there, just as us, are pleased to return to the Big D after forcefully subjecting ourselves to overdose after overdose of disgustingly, all-inclusive authentic Mexican cuisine for a week, all in the name of sunshine, beaches and alcoholic beverages in a land where everything goes. 

How about a change of pace?  The first locale I went to after getting back to Dallas was a joint I frequent quite a bit, and after noticing that it seemed to be lagging behind in terms of business, I thought I’d give it a shout out and fill you critique-dependent SMU kids in on a little secret. Roti Grill, located on McKinney Avenue just south of Knox Henderson, is where to go in order to give the taste buds a little shock therapy.  And what a treat it is!  Let me break it down. The Roti is an Indian restaurant set up in a similar fashion as Pei Wei Diner. You go into the nicely minimalist inspired restaurant, order your food, grab a drink and have a seat anywhere you’d like. No worries about feeling claustrophobic or nauseous as one is prone to be in the common Indian restaurant, adorned with kitsch and ostentatious colors from the homeland.  Simply enjoy great Indian food while sipping on a King Fisher and catching up on the news or the latest Texas Ranger episode on the plasma screen TV, all in a relaxed and chill atmosphere. I recommend the chicken masalla for you prudent ones who are new to the whole Indian cuisine – you basically can’t go wrong with that unless you’re allergic to chicken or something. It is addictive, though. I find myself there at least once a week, stuffing my face with the delightfully unique crab cakes followed by a healthy Texas sized serving of their awe-inspiring vindaloo. Change it up a bit – ‘Bend it like Beckham’ and hit up the Roti. 

Not every joint down the line can come through like the Roti, and places like The Catalina Room really emphasize the title of this article. Walking in you feel as if you walked through a vortex into some bizzarro world and found the bizzarro Houston’s. With its cheese money tiger print booths with private televisions, you feel as if some pimp decorated this venue that leaves you nauseas while eating. Why does each booth need its own TV? Seriously, if your company is so dreadful, then just stay at home. I remember when I was a kid my parents refused to let me watch TV during dinner time – they said it was trashy. This is not a sports bar, so there is no justifying that many televisions. Besides the excruciating interior decor, the food and service made me want to smack the owner of this restaurant. First, I asked the waiter what kind of beers they had, and she told me they had Bud, Bud light, Coors, Coors light and Heineken – by the way, what a selection! My friend comes in two minutes later and asks for a Budweiser, and the waiter says to him (not making this up), “Let me see if we have that.” OK – take a deep breath H – not everyone has a fifth grade education. The waiter finds the Budweiser somewhere near the Buds and takes our order. They have a beautiful wood-burning oven, which is the only way to cook a pizza. So, I figured they must have good pizza if they have such expensive equipment, but I was so wrong – so, so wrong. I asked the waiter to tell the chef that I like my pizza extra thin and crispy, and once again I’m not making this up, she replies, “You don’t want to do that. Our pizza chef only knows how to make one style of pizza, so we don’t want to confuse him.” Hold up, wait a minute – your pizza guy does not know how to make pizza? What is wrong with you people!? My friend received the most overpriced French dip that was so over cooked you couldn’t even tear the meat apart – dirty. The Catalina Room needs to go. I do not care where it goes, just get this place out of my beautiful fun-loving city. H&A, fair, balanced, telling you how it is.

 

Harrison Polsky and Alexander Schmidt can be reached at [email protected]

 

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