This weekend I had the pleasure of representing the Virginia Dental Association as a judge in the State Science Fair. I have to say, those high schoolers know their stuff! Some of them were even working with folks at the NIH. If they continue in the sciences, we'll have some brilliant STEM leaders headed our way. The VDA awarded $100 prizes in each of about 13 categories, and a grad prize of $1500. Side note: the candidate I interviewed ended up winning the biggie and (even though he doesn't know this), I spoke to the group on his behalf and changed a lot of opinions leading to his win. It was so rewarding to know I was able to be a part of this moment in his life.
The VDA was kind enough to pay for my trip down and so I was able to drive in early and spend the night at a hotel. Jeremy was a judge as well, and he actually had a friend in Norfolk who showed us around for dinner. We were craving Indian and so Nida took us to this establishment, which, I must say, had some of the best Indian food I've had in while.
We started off with some papas (pronounced "papar") - a spicy, crispy, very thin bread with sesame seeds. The mint chutney was tangy and slightly spicy - but the papas took center stage. I was really impressed with how flaky they were.
The garlic naan was something special - nicely charred and sprinkled with a little masala and cilantro. I've been craving me some cilantro and this hit the spot.
Jeremy got the chicken tikki masala and Nida got the paneer murgh makhini (they looked about the same). I wasn't able to try Jeremy's entree (seen below), but Nida's paneer was THE BEST I've ever had. Anywhere. The cheese was incredibly tender and not chewy of overcooked. The sauce was rich, creamy, and flavorful. I would have loved to be a fly on their wall while they made that entree.
I ordered the goat byryani. If you're not familiar with this, it's a rice dish with lots of spices, peas, and meat. If you cook it right, it takes a while to make. They served me enough for 3 meals, no joke, and I was a happy camper. It was a tad hot, so I had to "dilute" it with white rice. They serve it with raita, a yogurt sauce, to help cool the palate, but even that wasn't enough for me. When I got home, I ate my leftovers with spoonfuls of plain Chobani.