Steaming chai, warming lunch at Tulsi Tea Room

“As snow finally fell for the first time this year, I was transported back in time and halfway around the globe to Dharmasalam, India. Several years ago I had the good fortune to travel in northern India; because I was there during the winter, my companions and I spent quite a bit of time in teahouses, warming ourselves with pots of spicy chai (tea) and watching the snow fall. Tulsi Tea Room, on Elm Street, has recreated this teahouse experience quite wonderfully.”

So I wrote about Tulsi Tea Room in 2009, when it first opened as the Tulsi Tea Collective. Solenne Thompson, one of the original collective members, took individual ownership of the teahouse this past summer, and under Thompson’s leadership the teahouse has retained its warm, inviting flavor while expanding its food and beverage offerings.

Mung bean daal with almonds and raisins, and a fresh hot chapati filled with potato and carrot curry, made up my lunch last week:
Here is Thompson behind the counter, which is laden with the raw, whole-foods sweet treats she creates under her other business name, Amai Bijoux:
Learn more about Thompson, Tulsi’s lunch and grab-and-go offerings, and the restaurant’s semi-controversial equipment addition in this week’s Montpelier Bridge.

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Wilawan Kitchen

Why I love my job:  Next week’s Montpelier Bridge will feature a story on Wilawan Kitchen, the Thai food cart that graces downtown Montpelier and offers incredibly fresh–and I am told authentic, though having not yet been to Thailand I cannot verify–food.  For a mere $5 (occasionally $6), I have enjoyed massaman gai (yellow curry) with chicken and yellow squash, and yam nua yang, grilled beef tossed with onion, tomato, lime and chili paste.  Expect heaps of fresh cilantro and hunks of cooling cucumber; prepare to sit to eat your meal (they provide the table), served in a substantial bowl designed to create a moment to savor.  Then savor.

Wed-Fri lunchtimes in front of the Montpelier post office, and Saturdays at the Montpelier farmers market (9-1).