by Kamla Srinivasan
Mt View, California
August 17, 2005
And, of course, there are lots of hand-me-down gastronomical tales that have made the rounds within the city and beyond. MTR is a brand that most people recognize.
But, in recent years, I had heard murmurs that the quality of the food had declined and the food was not the same. I dismissed these murmurings and thought to myself that this cannot be the case. So, today, when I happen to be driving past Lalbaugh Road and my stomach made loud grumblings, reminding me that I had missed my lunch, I decided to take the plunge and have a traditional Brahmin meal or lunch at this venerable eating joint.
Parking the car was not an issue, but crossing the road was, and I am not kidding when I say that it is almost impossible to cross the road. The traffic just doesn't seem to let up at all! Anyway, I finally crossed the road and made it to this place. I entered a nice soothing room where, through sign language, I indicated that I wanted lunch. I forked out Rs. 75 (less than $2), climbed the stairs, and joined the orderly line of people waiting to have their lunch. The menu had about 10 dishes that seemed appetizing.
Finally, I sat down and was eager to reacquaint myself with the heavenly food from MTR's kitchen. Boy, was I disappointed. The service was bad and a bit slow. The quality and taste of the food was poor. The lunch consisted of typical South Indian dishes, like vanghibhath, sambar, rasam, yogurt rice, dumplings in yogurt, veggies, and three different desserts. The desserts were cloyingly sweet and I could taste the cook's disinterest in preparing the dish. I did not sit through the entire course of the lunch, and had to bail out towards the end.
I should have listened to my family and friends, who had warned me that the quality of the food had declined and the only thing worth visiting the place was for their morning dosa that is served at 6:30am. Dosa is similar to the French crepe, only there is no sugar, but salt, added to the batter, and it tends to be crisper.
I am giving this place a second chance and am thinking of an early morning sortie to MTR. Let us hope that this time my mission will be successful and I score an ace with the food.
From journal Bangalore, the IT capital of India