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Friday, November 28, 2008

A traditional Thanksgiving

Wayne and I had our traditional Thanksgiving this week. In other words, we basically ignored it.

The tradition, which has often extended to Christmas, established itself when we were both writing doctoral dissertations. I finished mine over three years ago, but he's still at it -- in the final throes, thank God. Unless you have been through this nightmare, you probably won't understand why it makes every holiday an occasion of guilt that can only be assuaged by pretending to write.

Usually, we do go to a Chinese restaurant and enjoy being amid other people trying to hide from the conventional rituals. This year, though, we went to Panahar (3375 Buford Hwy., 404-633-6655), a Bangladeshi restaurant we've visited a few times before.

The restaurant was serving a Thanksgiving buffet and I was surprised to see that the great majority of tables had been reserved. Buffets are not my favorite style of dining, to say the least, but the food was great.

Among the 10 dishes offered, was turkey tikka,  chunks of the bird in a sauce of tomatoes, herbs and yogurt that the kitchen makes itself. My favorite, though, was lamb naar-kaylee kola, featuring a sauce made of cream with ground cashews, raisins and bananas.

An interesting starter I'd never had before was browned patties made of tuna fish and chopped mint leaves. I couldn't stop eating them, drenched in a milky mint sauce. Dessert -- a custardy Bangladeshi yogurt mixed with honey -- was also notable.

Cost was $20 with all the champagne or beer you could drink. Wayne drank two small bottles of champagne, plus all I couldn't drink.

If you do visit the restaurant, be sure to try the mango lassi, the best in the city by far.

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