A Partnership of Patels
"Well, bhel puri, that's Gujarati," Rutul argues. Bhel puri, in the chaat section, is described as puffed rice mixed with chutneys, onions, and potatoes. "But mostly," Rutul agrees, Gujarati food is too complex. "For example, bitter melon--it has to be cooked just right. If you can make that well," he says, it's the epitome of Gujarati cooking--sweet, hot, and bitter.
"Growing up, I hated it," adds Swetang. It's not on the menu.
Swetang designed Curry Up's bright, comfortable dining room--about a dozen tables, counter service only--while Rutul was responsible for the kitchen. "We're discovering we need more storage space and more counter space," Swetang says, echoing probably anyone's complaint about their first kitchen. They did a few trial-run soft openings in early August, adjusted the menu, then opened for real on August 27 and are slowly learning the tricks of the lunch trade. "Usually about forty small tickets and they all come at once," says Rutul. "Dinner is fewer tickets, but bigger orders."
The Patels are still not entirely happy with the way some of their food survives transport, so they're not offering delivery yet, though you can order takeout at your own risk. "It would be tough to deliver some of these items. Like dosas--I'd rather people eat them when they're crispy," Rutul says of the south Indian fried pancakes. Swetang adds: "Sometimes people might not know how to mix things. To enjoy some of these dishes, you need to assemble and mix them in a certain way with the sauces and chutney. I like to be here to tell them how."