There are a number of Indian food places and grocery shops in the west coast of America. Especially in places with a high concentration of technological companies such as San Jose, Paolo Alto, Seattle one can get Mysore paak, Thepla and Pani puri easily. Apart from the experience, what makes this place unique is its non-tech and green location (even the MBA course is marketed as green MBA at the airport).
Nevertheless, Portland does have Nike and an Indian connection, back in his heydays Osho had his own world here. Portland has a hatke vibe, has very good public transportation which is rare in that part of the world. Just like the food and the experience at Bollywood Theater, Portland was one of a kind.
Founded by an American as an ode to his India experience, maintained by locals there, his journey can be seen here (http://www.bollywoodtheaterpdx.com/). An outsider or a guest views a culture from a fresh perspective and brings in a fresh wave of energy. Ditto, the simplicity, diversity and the rustic energy of India sums up the interiors of Bollywood Theater. We decided to go for street food, placed our orders and were looking at the old posters of Mithun and old obscure movies.
Additionally, there is a big screen playing some unknown movie which is cool. The creators of this space have paid complete attention to detail (see photo).
The space is big yet cozy, well lit and airy. Wooden chairs and unique wall posters give a different feel. Keeping up with the theme, the walls are decorated with flags of India, esoteric menus, Bollywood posters and flags.
There is a small corner for Ganapati – Elephant God too.
The washroom has Carnatic music and school photos of an unknown person from South India.
Clear instructions on washing hands (important).
Decor is made of complete non-useful stuff (Bhangar).
Ah yes ! an All American staff gives the place another feel altogether.
Speaking to the hostess whose favorite was Bhel puri, she suggested to try out the Wada Pav. The food tasted just like you get in India. We got Pav Bhaji, Wada Pav (the potato was boiled and had tamarind sauce) and Kathi rolls were Kolkata style. From each part of the country, Goa to Kolkata there are some signature dishes. Wada Pav was superb especially the tamarind tinge.
Living abroad, one is not used to eating green chilli everyday and just to continue with the vibe we tried the green chilli which called for a big bowl of Yoghurt !!
Kathi Roll was ordinary, with chicken and right amount of onion it tasted well. The Thali could have been interesting option to try. The whole experience and ambience was awesome.
Service was friendly and the people working are there are more than happy to interact.
Thinking back, the decor is unique and in sync with the rustic vibe of Portland. Definitely worth a dekho if you are in this part of the world.
What could have been better?
- More food pictures on the menu or the walls
- Fruits and Indian desserts could be added to the menu
About the Contributor:
Amardeep Banerjee who also happens to be my elder brother. This is an excerpt from one of his global experiences.
Anu goes social, have a unique food story to share. Pin me, would be happy to post it.