Best Indian Food in Plano

Photo courtesy of Flickr and Satya

Iravat, located in the small Asian Market off of Legacy and 75 is hands down the best Indian food I’ve ever devoured. Chetinaad Palace and Akbar have good food, but their buffet is limited to the same items every single time that you go. On occasion they may changed out a dish or two, but most of the time it is the same. Iravat, on the other hand, is a sumptuous feast with so much variety that my only disappointment has been in the fact that sometimes I go back because I want Molai Kofta or Chicken 555 and then they don’t have it that day.  This change of menu forces me to branch out and try new things and I’m almost always delighted with the freshness and deliciousness of their food.

I love most authentic ethnic restaurants, however, sometimes they seem to lack cleanliness and ambience. So many Chinese food places seem to just throw a few Asian decorations on the walls and then add a few tables and chairs and call it day. This isn’t the case with Iravat. It’s classy, clean and cozy. The only downside was that we sat in a booth and the table was so big that I had to squeeze myself in. I’m a big guy, but compared to many Americans I’m more and more becoming closer to the average as far as waist size goes and so they may want to scale back those tables some so people can actually fit.

So if you are in the Plano area and you want awesome Indian food, try Iravat, it is awesome.

Culture God Movie Reviews Observations Politics

The Golden Compass – Yawwwwnnnn…

I was bored and nothing else was showing. I know, I know. I should not have thrown any money at this movie because it is a movie that is supposed to be about killing God. I saw the previews and I thought, “How can this be about killing God?” I hadn’t read this information on Snopes – click here to read it.  The first move isn’t about killing God, but there are all these kids with “Demons” which are these little animals that follow them around and talk, like a kindred spirit. This was disturbing because when have we ever thought of demons as being friendly little kindred spirits? Demons have always been associated with Hell and none of them have ever been sweet bunny rabbits that talk.

One thing about this first movie is that it just isn’t all that appealing. There are a lot of weird things, like “the Gobless” or “the Gobblers?” who are stealing kids and trying to separate them from their demons. Being separated from your demon puts you in a state of “Indecision”. I just didn’t get it.

With a little tweaking this movie could have been another Chronicles of Narnia or Lord of the Rings, except there isn’t anything redeeming about this movie. The little girl is sassy and rebellious, Nicole Kidman, while beautiful is frigid and frightening and while there was a part of me that wanted to like the movie and believe that all this information written about it was just a bunch of hype, but it’s not. 

When I was younger my parents were fond of saying things like, “That is just a tool of the Devil”. I used to roll my eyes at them, they seemed so backward and like such Bible thumpers sometimes. Now that I am older I see it so clearly now. This movie, certain television shows and even some music is nothing more than a clever way to desensitize people to the truth.

I’m an optimistic person by nature. I see the good in people and in the world, but lately, I see more and more of the bad. So much sin is just accepted and sometimes even applauded.  Standing up for what is moral and right is now dangerous. If you want to be ridiculed, just take a stand for morality and truth. There is a world of people out there who laugh at the idea of God and absolutes. For those people I fear that they live in fairytale land where there is no evil, no God, no right and wrong. Culture and government decide what is and isn’t morale.  For their sakes I hope they open up their eyes. Take a look at the world around them, Google a few choice words on the internet and see the seedy underbelly of this world that is supposedly making progress.  Race and gender and sexuality no longer seem to be hot buttons, instead, what I see as the greater issue is tolerance and indifference. Like STD’s we treat the symptons, we spend millions on a cure instead of elminating the root of the problem.

I like to believe that the world is still filled with hope and love and that for a while longer these virtues will continue to shine bright in an ever-darkening world.

Merry Christmas.


The Darkest Evening of the Year

It’s a new book by Dean Koontz – wait, don’t check out now, this isn’t another one of my book reviews…

Dean seems to have taken a creative route on educating his readers about puppy mills and how cruelly animals are treated. Some dogs are put in small cages at the age of 6 months and then bred immediately. They aren’t taken care of, but instead treated like machines that just crank out puppies which are then sold to pet stores and sometimes sold in newspapers as “Farm-bred”.

In an interesting story about a young girl who rescues Golden Retrievers Dean continues to detail how cruelly some animals are treated. One animal had toe nails that had grown so long that they curled under the dogs feet and into the soles causing unbearable pain. Even after she was rescued and treated she had trouble walking due to atrophied muscles. In time she recovered but was still hesitant to play.

I thought the timing of this book was interesting since Ellen Degeneres recently had her dog taken away from her by the adoption agency that she had gotten it from. Apparently she had violated some of the rules the agency had set forth and they had made an example out of her. After reading some of what Dean has written, and which I am sure is more fact than fiction, I can see why these people who go through great lengths to rescue dogs can become so vigilant about the dogs being treated well.

Anyway, Dean is a Golden Retriever lover and he has written many books with these dogs in them. It’s got me to thinking… maybe I should get a Golden? If they really are such amazing wonderful dogs then I should get one. What about you, what kind of dog do you want?


As Plain As Green and White

I’m doing a modified version of Atkins until Thanksgiving Day. I have to drop 20 pounds before the Turkey Trot and if possible I am going to try to drop 30. This is the first time I’ve ever tried this route. White chicken and fish and lots of green veggies.

Why so strict? Well, in the past when I’ve done Atkins I always cheat a little bit. I eat guacamole here and peanuts and almonds and the occassional cruton. Allowing yourself to cheat here and there totally undermines the entire thing, it wittles away at the diet until it is no longer a diet and I’m back to eating the way I did before.

I also decided to stop kicking myself in the butt for yo-yo dieting. It is just part of life I think and eventually you have to work out a system that works for you. Every time I diet I lose 20-30 pounds then something big comes up and I get off track and I put the weight back on. It’s frustrating, but worrying about it makes me depressed and dang near suicidal and so I stop worrying about it.

So why not just maintain? Well, I recently told my best friend Joe that there is no “maintenance” for me, I’m either gaining weight or losing it – my body doesn’t understand the concept of maintenance.

What is more important this time is that I’m actually doing it because my knees are hurting me more and more. I also have had heartburn for the last week no matter what I eat and in my entire life I’ve never had heartburn or indigestion this much. I mean I’ve literally had it more in the last week than I’ve had in my entire life combined and that signals that something is out of wack in my system and I don’t think it is age. I think I’ve just been eating way too much crap.

So I’m going green until Thanksgiving – I’m even going to just ignore Halloween this year and act like it doesn’t exist, no candy for me please. No trips out of town and very little eating out. Who knows what will happen after Turkey Day, but until then I’m going to have to learn to say “No, No, No”.


What’s your story morning glory?

Mary and I attended the Fusion Conference at Irving Bible Church on Friday night. Donald Miller was the first speaker and he talked about how everyone’s life is a story. He then told us about Robert McKee who wrote a book called “Story” which simply tells writers what elements are needed in order to make a good story. You need a lead character and that character needs a goal and along the way of trying to reach that goal you need a series of conflict. Conflict is what makes a good story, but what makes a great story is that you need to care about the lead character of the story.  The hero of the story can’t be cocky or arrogant, you want to care about the lead and you want to care about the trouble that he is facing and the goal that he is trying to reach.

Then Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz, asked us “What is your story?”

The entire conference was geared toward putting people into action to go out into the world and make a difference.  Are you making a difference?

What are your goals? Do you only get up each day in an effort to make ends meet? To provide for yourself and your family? Are you doing anything to change the world around you?

I wonder what would happen if everyday individuals got up with the mindset that they were going to do something not only to change their own life, but the world around them. Maybe it is just a small step, a piece of trash picked up, a tree planted, a small donation made to a charity.

Lately I’ve been wanting to get more involved in my community. Eventually I’d like to run for city council and get more involved in politics.

Right now I think I have a pretty good story. I’ve endured a lot of conflict, I feel like I’ve helped a lot of people, but I know I could do so much more.

What can you do to change the world around you?