Walking Castlegar for Indian Cuisine

While checking into the hotel for the evening we were chatting up the desk clerk about good restaurants within waking distance of the hotel.

The Buddha Bistro is a delicious place, can’t go wrong there ” she says as I picked up a printed menu on the counter top.

I recall it being pretty good food there, when we came thru here on that work trip to Trail a few years back. Mien and I had dinner there,” I said, followed by, “there seems to be a few other options down the road like an Indian restaurant or the Rooster Pub & Grill. What are you up for?”

She stared me down with the look of evil hunger in her soul. “I’m good with anything right now,” came the response. “No, worries. I think we should walk to the Bistro, as they have Aloo Gobi and Dal. Plus we can walk instead of driving. Its supposedly 15 minutes from here. Is that good with you?” She nodded her agreement then grabbed her coat motioning to the front door.

We wandered out down the stairs to the exit door. Crossing the parking lot and over to the sidewalk where we spotted a micro-brewery. We stepped in and learnt they had no food. We departed within 15 seconds of entering the door.

Down the sidewalk we went… “hey, what about the rooster?” I said. “Nah, I’m good with continuing down the road.” And on we went.

Five minutes onward we spotted the Toyota dealership which is where we would drive the Tacoma to in the morning.

“Hey. Have you seen the new Hyundai Santa Cruz. I think it might be a contender for my next vehicle,” I said. “Nah, I’ve not seen that one. Do you like it?,” she replied. “Yeah. Its like a Tucson except it has a truck bed,” and as I said this, one drove by and we walked past a dealership as I pointed it out. “Yeah, I could see you in that,” she responded.

Five minutes more down the sidewalk we saw a pub and kept on walking. Sprint in the Tacoma for nine hours paid its toll on the walk ahead instead of sitting down.

A hill. A large friggin’ hill appeared before us. “Are you still game?” I said followed by, “its another 7 minutes down the road on our side of the roadway.” She looked at the hill, then at myself and nodded agreement to continue onward down the hill.

“What’s the elephant in the room?” I said staring down at the sidewalk. “Well, I’d rather not talk about it. If it’s alright with you?” She said.

Wow! Look at that. I thought to myself looking at the ground and seeing 101 snails of various sizes slowly clinging to the sidewalk. She agreed there were a plethora of snails large and small on the ground as we tried to avoid each of them walking down the hill.

I nodded as we finished the hill and walked past Jacky’s Chinese Restaurant we both began to laugh and talked about our friends living on the East Coast of Nova Scotia. “We should totally take a snap shot and send it to her with a question about moving here and not telling us!!”

A few minutes past we finally reached our destination; Cuisine of India.

At the front of the building was a covered patio with no humans sitting on it in the cool summer evening.

Stepping around the building to the front door we both noticed the parking lot was packed and inevitably the restaurant too.

“That should be a good sign,” says Shauna as I pulled open the door to sounds of people talking and the wafting smell of curry, cardamom, and fenugreek spices.

Sitting down at the table we took in the remaining interior traditional sequined art work, decorations and popped open the menus.

“What are you thinking about for food?,” says the wife peeking over her menu. “How about two or three entrees and basmati rice?” She nods her head instead of responding. “What two dishes are you thinking about?” came her next question. Eyes reading words, words informing menu choices I said “Saag Aloo as its potato based rather than cheese and Dal Makhani. What about you?” She starred blankly at her menu lost in thought then said, “I like your choices. How about basmati rice and Vegetable Curry?” It was my turn to nod my head, “Sure. You order when he comes back. I’m going to use the washroom.”

When I returned there were two plates, forks, spoons and napkins along with two waters and a glass of house red wine in front of her. She swirled the glass around and around then stuck her nose into the glass with a long inhale of the wine’s aromas. She smiled. Then peaked up above her glass. She smiled then went back to her deep thinking.

Starring off into the space surrounding us, neither of us spoke for what seemed to be several minutes. Neither of us willing to talk about the elephant still caught between us. “Good thing we have that appointment first thing with Toyota. Hopefully they can repair the tire in a timely manner. Oh yeah, I found this place called Roots Modern Health Food. Its a breakfast and lunch spot. Looks like really good vegan and vegetarian options. Think we should go there after the truck is repaired. Here take a look,” I said passing her my phone which was open to their website. She casually read the menu and nodded her agreement then slid the phone back as the waiter appeared with our dinner.

Both of us dug into the rice then the three entrees. Neither of us spoke for another several minutes as we ate in silence enjoying the home cooked meal and the ambience around us. After several spoonfuls of the Saag Aloo, she broke the silence with, “What order would you rank these three entrees?” I smiled taking a long sip of my water than responded with, “Saag, Veggies and Dal, You?” She nodded her agreement, laughed and said, “Same. I think that’s the first time we’ve ever agreed on the order. These sure are spicy. I really like these dishes.”

Finishing up we received a to-go container filled with a bit of rice for to combine with the remaining Dal. Departing our table we stopped momentarily at the cash register by the front door to pay for our meal. Stepping outside the clouds began to drizzle a light rain onto our heads as we began the journey back up the hill back to the hotel. Neither of us broached the ever growing elephant between us as we knew tomorrow there was no going back.

~ Aaron JacksonCrabb