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Thursday September 20, 2018
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Everest Sherpa Restaurant

 

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The lunch business we saw at Everest--one day a Sunday, another a Wednesday--was encouraging given the restaurant's rather forlorn location, but I was really surprised when I met four friends for dinner on a Tuesday night. The place was hopping--and remained so as our party of five closed it down. Ample free parking is always a draw, especially as downtown Ann Arbor becomes more congested, and with so many other positive attributes--good food, friendly service, pleasant ambience--the restaurant seems to have become a destination.

And that night, for four of us at the table, Everest was a destination; only one friend lives near that edge of town. Aiming to try the less common dishes, we ordered the lamb Sherpa Stew, a warming, well-spiced, and well-stocked broth of toughish meat, potatoes, vegetables, and chewy, flat, triangular noodles or dumplings. Much less flavorful was the vegetable Base Camp Thukpa, a bland bowl of linguine-type noodles, assorted vegetables, and undistinguished broth. Chicken butayko was similar to an unremarkable Chinese stir-fry, heavy on peppers, onions, and tomatoes, with spices punting towards India. Shrimp makhani, the seafood perfectly poached in a creamy tomato sauce thickened with ground cashews, settled right in India. We also ordered onion naan and aalu paratha (potato-stuffed flatbread), both tasty but neither as compelling, to my mind, as the plain, butter-drizzled naan. The Tibetan bread, fried rather than griddled, was warm and puffy, the outside lightly crusty and sweet from sprinkled sugar. I could imagine how delicious it would be with honey and a cup of milky chai for breakfast.

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