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Eating and drinking bread on South Hill

Naan stuffed

Karma Indian Cuisine and Lounge has many delicious naan options, and one not so delicious. Photo credit: Steph DeRosa

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During my ongoing attempt to travel the culinary world without having to actually travel, I have re-discovered the classic American side dish called "Pepto Bismol."  Something is seriously twisted and not right with my digestive system, especially when dealing with my latest non-domestic food quest. I can handle a greasy jalapeno-laden hamburger like it's nobody's business, but give me a tempeh hot dog and I've got the trots all night. (Because, you know, tempeh is from Indonesia so I consider it foreign.)

By the way, I'm one paragraph in and I must ask: Aren't you glad you're reading this column?  The visual of my compromised bowels I'm sure is worth the weight of the paper or electronic device your reading this on, in gold.

Believe it or not, sometimes people want to hang out with me and I don't even have to pay them.  Like last week, for instance. I went to dinner with two of my friends, one of which is my token Filipino friend, Maia. Maia is the one who holds my hand, guiding me into explorative international cuisine such as her mom's halo-halo. You see, she's exotic and well traveled. Me? Not so much.

This past dinner outing Maia suggested a little hole in the wall located on Hell's Highway (South Meridian in Puyallup) called Karma Indian Cuisine. Sidenote: I LOATHE Meridian and avoid it at all costs, usually. It's the real-life version of Grand Theft Auto as it would be played by a blind preschooler. Although scoping out an Indian restaurant located on Meridian with a few of my friends? Totally worth risking my life.

Of course, after surviving my adventure down Hell's Highway, the first thing I ask for is a really heavy IPA. I love those damn IPAs. I know, it's like drinking a loaf of bread but whatever. When you've just had a close brush with vehicular death in an over-blown town like Puyallup, an alcohol infused loaf of bread is exactly what takes the edge off. As a matter of fact, you know what else takes the edge off? More bread.

My eyes immediately gravitated toward Karma's ingenious, ongoing list of Naan varieties.  Maybe not so much ingenious to the traditional Indian, but ingenious for what I was used to seeing on a menu. The Naan-stuffed ingredients ranged from potatoes, spiced lamb, olives, chili, mozzarella, onions, chicken, cherries and coconut. My stomach was growling. It wanted more bread. I perused the menu repeatedly while trying to decide. Must. Try them. All.

So ... yeah ... I ordered three of them. Three big naans, all for me. I agreed to share, but inside I was already feeling the heavenly yeast hit my gut.

My favorite naan was the chili olive naan stuffed with mozzarella and green chilies. It was too spicy for my wussy Filipino friend, but I wanted to bathe in this particular naan. Maia had suggested ordering the Karma naan, I assumed that to be Karma's signature naan, so I did. As intriguing as it sounded on the menu as it was described as being stuffed with cherries and coconut, in reality, it tasted like barf. Not just a colloquialism, it literally tasted like barf. Our third friend, Heather, agreed. Barf.

As we ended the night closing down Karma Indian Cuisine, we noticed the adjacent bar come to life and fill up with a who's who of Puyallup's finest. We considered joining the bar and impeding on their "how many calories Michael Phelps eats" conversation, but the yeast had stricken in my belly and it was time to hit the Pepto Bismol, which in all honesty tasted better than that cherry-coconut-naan catastrophe.

Karma Indian Cuisine and Lounge, 12623 Meridian Ave. E., South Hill, 253.770.6276

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