At 11 a.m., after we have visited two families and Guru has patiently answered all of my nosy questions, it is time for some food. There is only one Nepalese restaurant in Clarkston—and it happens to have Bhutanese owners—so we walk into “Kathmandu Kitchen & Grill,” named after the capital of Nepal, to eat our early lunch. As I can tell from the buffet line, Nepalese cuisine features dishes with a lot of rice and vegetables, as well as various meats. Curry is common, as is a dish called “dal-bhat-tarkari,” which Guru insists that I try. “Dal” is a stew that contains split lentils, tomatoes, onion, and a host of spices; it is a staple that those in Nepal sometimes eat twice daily. A somewhat cautious eater, I try to be as adventurous as possible, picking out some fiery-looking chicken to go with my rice, vegetable stir-fry, chick-pea stew, and naan.
I am rewarded for every risk that I take: the “dal” is thick and delicious; the chicken is tender and spicy, though not as spicy as it looks; the naan complements the stews perfectly. It is a memorable way to end my morning with Guru. When he drops me off at the Avondale train station a half-hour later, the skies have cleared, and I can stroll around outside for a few minutes before taking the train back to work. Not so for Guru: once I close the door, he’s off again, heading out to Clarkston to drive the rest of his clients to their health screenings.
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