What is it? - It's the worst meal I've paid money for in a long time, is what it is. But sometimes an experience is so horrendously all-around major league crappy that you just have to sit back and laugh about how EVERY SINGLE ASPECT of said experience sucked donkey balls.
The culprit here is Lahori Kabab and Grill in Hicksville, which I hadn't been to in about six years after another comically bad meal, which started to go sour when the owner unceremoniously chucked our food into a microwave right in front of us. Truthfully, I've had worse food, but since the Hicksville area has so many great Indian / Paki / Asian / fusion places nearby (Masala Wok, Choopan Grill and New Chilli and Curry among them), there's little motivation to go back to the subpar places.
Specifically, the meal pictured above consists of Chaska Kebab (spicy chicken) and Chana Masala (spicy chick peas dish).
What led you to choose this restaurant / item? - Well, I'd had an odd morning during which I was accused (perhaps rightly) of excluding an associate from something inconsequential, and oddly this had left me feeling a bit masochistic. And, again, I hadn't been here in years, so I figured why not give it a second chance? Of course, normally a 2.5 star review on Yelp is enough to make me avoid a restaurant at all costs, I read through some of the reviews and noted that several -- not all of, mind you -- the dishes appeared to be edible.
How was it? - (Mostly) horrible. As you can see above, the chicken was served to me GREEN. I honestly have absolutely no idea why this was so. I mean, I guess St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner, but this is an Indian joint for fuck's sake. After plenty of speculation, I realized that the chicken was likely artificially colored green to signify to the staff that it was "spicy" (the menu clamied that it was "cooked with green chilies"), so that an unsuspecting customer wouldn't be accidentally served the strong stuff.
Whatever the reason for this chicken's sickly hue, I dared not ask the rather hotheaded waitress, who spent the entirety of my visit loudly belittling her chef, screaming unintelligibly at her stock boy, barking at call-in orders, and arguing with customers about the appropriate amount of sauce to include with the takeout orders. A very unpleasant scene!
But just look at that picture above. Look at it! That's one hell of an unappetizing presentation, but here at Meal Corner we live by one axiom and one axiom alone: "Great Flavor Redeems Most Other Deficiencies. [Or Something Like That.]" Not here, my friends. The chicken was pink and raw throughout, yet still dry, leading me to surmise that it had been pre-cooked half-way (ostensibly in a futile attempt at retaining some juiciness), with the aim of "finishing" the grilling process at the time it's ordered, thereby preserving the illusion of freshness. Of course, that doesn't work if the chicken is microwaved, as this clearly had been.
So, to recap, here's what we know about this chicken: 1.) It's green. 2.) It's not fresh. 3.) It's practically raw. 4.) It's not sufficiently heated. 5.) YUCKO POO POO.
The other half of the meal wasn't terrible. the Chana Masala was spicy and the sauce was thick, although it too wasn't fresh and it had obviously been given the microwave treatment, as well.
[I know, I know, I should've just paid and left, cut my losses and gone to any of the many nearby restaurants that DON'T suck. But I didn't. So while this shitbox deserves a poor grade, so do I.]
After finishing up, I wanted to beat a hasty retreat. I tried to pay with my credit card, only to find that the misery was far from over. It took the waitress a full 15 more minutes of repeatedly swiping my credit card through the unresponsive machine (pausing only briefly to scream at her chef every few minutes) for her to determine that paying by creedit card was not an option. The bill came to $17.94, so I begrudgingly forked over a $20 and limped to my car.
Quotes from the eater: [upon seeing the green chicken] - "What the....?" [upon noting that the chicken was uncooked] - "UGGGGGGGGGH." [upon realizing that I was sick later this evening, likely due to eating the raw, green chicken] - "BLARGGGGH!" [quote from the waiter at the excellent Ravagh Persian Grill, where I ate dinner later that night, after I showed him my picture of the green chicken] - "What is that? Space chicken??"