This year, one of my goals is to try new things because some of the best experiences of my life have come from breaking out of the norm and trying something different.
So far, we’ve gone to new places (Savannah, GA), tried new foods (shrimp and grits), and even took up some new activities (kayaking)…all of which have given us amazing memories. So the other night, when Dave and I found ourselves at an Indian restaurant eating our usual favorites (chicken curry for me; chicken makhani for him), we decided to spice things up. Literally.
“What’s a lassi?” he asked, as I moaned over my curry.
“I think it means young girl.”
“No, here on the menu.”
I followed his finger to the list of specialty drinks standing on our table. Strawberry lassi. Mango lassi. Sweet lassi. “Maybe it’s some sort of soda?”
“Or maybe it’s like a smoothie or milkshake or something?”
“I dare you to try one.”
“Ok,” I said, accepting his challenge. “I’ll try the sweet lassi.”
“No way. This is my dare, I get to pick the flavor.”
It seemed like a low-risk challenge. After all, I like strawberry, mango, and pretty much anything sweet. “Fine.”
“Great, you’re getting the salty lassi.”
“The what?” I turned the drink list towards me and sure enough there, under all the fruity flavors, was a salty lassi. I cringed at the thought of a salty drink. “Hopefully it’s like a margarita.”
He smirked, amused by my discomfort, “I’m sure it will be.” He flagged down the waiter. “My wife would like order something.”
The waiter turned to me. “I’ll take a salty lassi,” I said with uncertainty as Dave grinned across the table.
“You want a salty lassi?” he asked with a cocked eyebrow.
Dave’s grin grew wider and I shot him a death glare. “Yes, please.”
“Okay,” he said, shaking his head and turning towards the kitchen.
“What the hell did I just order?” I asked when he was out of earshot.
Dave burst out laughing. “I don’t know but I can’t wait to find out.”
We continued eating but I was disturbed by our waiter’s reaction. He passed by our table at least a dozen times but never with my salty lassi. “Well, I guess he forgot,” I said, after we scraped our plates clean. And despite my desire to try new things, I felt relieved.
The waiter stopped by our table a couple minutes later to collect our plates. “You still want a salty lassi?” he asked, as if giving me a chance to change my mind and save myself.
“Yes, we still want it,” Dave said.
I waited nervously and a few minutes later he delivered what looked like a vanilla milkshake.
“Go ahead,” Dave urged as I inspected it.
I placed my lips on the straw and the flavor that hit my tongue tasted like a mix of sour cream, water, Indian spices, and salt. Lots and lots of salt.
My lips puckered and my nose scrunched.
“How is it?” he asked.
“It’s…different. You should try it.” I slid the glass across the table and watched as he took a big gulp and gagged.
In the end, our salty lassi wasn’t a great new discovery, like Savannah, shrimp and grits, or kayaking. But it took a routine dinner and spiced (or salted) it up, and left us both with a funny memory that we won’t soon forget.