On our second night here in Tashkent, we ventured out to a chaikhana for tea and dinner. At this traditional restaurant–the likes of which can be found all over the country–we reclined on a tea bed and ordered up some…well, we had some communication issues with the waiter, so we think we ordered bread, tea and plov (national dish of rice mixed with vegetables and mutton and held together with mutton fat). We sat back and waited to see what showed up.
Two hours and many bowls of tea later, we were still waiting (Nick and I) and sorting colored pencils underneath the tea bed (Owen). A lengthy hand-signals “chat” with our waiter confirmed that the food would come, sometime. So we waited some more, and then suddenly there he was, on the straightaway to our table with a two-foot-diameter plate piled high with rice and meat and hard boiled eggs. “Please let that be for the table behind us,” I chanted meekly. No such luck: we were immediately the dubiously-proud owners of ten pounds of Uzbekistan’s national dish. It was enough to make Dr. Atkins weep in his carb-free grave. It was also past Owen’s bedtime, so we didn’t have time to gawk or protest or send it back in exchange for something more modest. We only had time for our three spoons to dig-dig-dig, and then sign-language ask for a take-away container.
And this is how we found ourselves speed-walking the mile back to the hotel in the dark, lugging a loaf of hollowed-out bread filled to the brim–and covered with the loaf’s top as a “lid”–with greasy rice. Can someone tell me if this is Paleo or not?