I sometimes take for granted the conveniences of living as a metropolitan. Coffee shops spaced out about 3 miles away from one another, the grocery stores, Target (or Tarjay as some call it), malls, the diversity that enriches our local food culture, and so much more. Recently a friend and I took a mini road trip out to Middle-of-nowhere, Texas and while we were exploring the small town, we were feeling ravenous for a good cup of coffee only to find out that the nearest coffee shop was 15 miles away. Yikes! I still don’t know how I survived that evening but when I came back to Dallas/Ft. Worth, I appreciated my nearby coffee shops so much more. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by urbanized living but the lack of coffee shops and the lack of diversity made the appeal of country living a little overrated. However, this is my opinion. I grew up around skyscrapers for half my life and have grown accustomed to smoggy skies, noisy traffic, and walking distances from bistro to coffee shop, to Korea-town to China-town in no time at all. No way Jose. The country is no place for this java lovin’ lady.
Speaking of diversity in local food culture, one of my recent discoveries is falooda. A beverage that originated from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and different parts of India. Even though it’s technically a beverage, it’s technically made of other solid components like vermicelli, basil seeds, jellies, crushed pistachio nuts, flavored milks and ice cream and depending on where you get it, toppings vary. One evening I was strolling around the Korea-town in Carrollton and right in the front of the large shopping strip, was a row of Indo-Pak establishments. Baloch Ice Cream and Juice caught my eye. The name of the establishment gives the impression that it’s a dessert place but they also had savory snacks and lunch specials too. The menu extends to handmade ice cream popsicle sticks, smoothies, coffee (nothin’ fancy, just straight up good medium-roast brewed coffee), and much much more than I can name. I opted for the Rasmalai falooda, a cold beverage which was made with Ras (condensed) milk, sav, tukmaria, malai ice cream, and then topped off with strawberries, pineapples, jello, cashews, almonds, pistachios and mava (solid milk that looks like a hard crumbly cheese). It was such a complex, bold, and fragrant dessert. It’s open late and always busy. You’ll see mostly people of Indo-pak ethnicity hanging out here so you know it’s got to be good.