I had high expectations of Shreeji, the newest vegetarian restaurant in Louisville. Hindus and other Indians have developed a great vegetarian cuisine. After all, they’ve had centuries of religious strictures against meat eating to work on their recipes.
However, I was quite disappointed with Shreeji.
Overwhelmed by the menu, and sensing the impatience of the counter clerk, I asked him to recommend two dishes.
We ended up with the cheese bhaji pav and the chloe bhature. The bhaji pav was a dish of chickpeas in red sauce, and the chloe bhature was a vegetable curry in an identical red sauce that tasted very similar.
The vegetable curry was so heavily pureed that I couldn’t identify any actual vegetables, except for the stray pea that escaped the food processor. My heart rose at the sight of that one pea.
Upon reflection, I should have asked for rice or naan or dal. There’s almost no traditional Indian starch that I don’t enjoy.
My entrees came with a sort of fried pancake that fell apart so quickly, it became more or less useless as a way of conveying food to my face.
My other starch was something that I can only describe as a slider bun from White Castle. Admittedly, it was fried and therefore not quite as inedible as a White Castle item. But still . . .
The mango lassi was the best thing on the table. It was really creamy and sweet without being cloying.
The other major disappointment was that all our food was served on disposable plastic or paper. With this one meal, I have contributed to landfills, the exploitation of natural resources, and air pollution. Not really what I have in mind when I seek out a vegetarian restaurant.
Though I was quite hungry, the crime partner and I ate only about half our food, and it wasn’t worth boxing.