Opting for Meal Plan B was the end of my reliance on a single cafeteria at Emory. I initially basked in the honeymoon period, enjoying my capacity to have udon for lunch and tacos for dinner, but unfortunately, that imagining was just a transient pleasure. After I ate at Cox Hall for a few weeks, boredom kicked in, and what was once a hearty bowl of pho became a chore to get through. When I discovered that Bhojanic Market had revamped its menu, I leaped with joy at the chance to eat something different for the first time in months. Bhojanic’s revamped menu now offers the “Karma Melt,” the Kathi roll, “The Lopez,” the “Buddha Bowl” and the poutine bowl in addition to their previous options.
The Kathi roll caught my eye as the only new menu option based on a dish I recognized. Traditionally, this humble roll is the forefront of portable Indian food. Like an Indian burrito, its ergonomic paratha exterior acts as a sheath to protect its various contents. Bhojanic’s take on the classic is a little wayward, more similar to a taco than a burrito, with the insides falling out of the flaky paratha’s open side. Moreover, rather than the classic fillings of mutton or paneer, Bhojanic offers either seasonal vegetables or chicken, with a side of its masala potatoes. While this bizarre set of ingredients does not function as an authentic Indian Kathi roll, it does a pretty good job as an American one so I enjoyed the meal despite its flaws. A parallel might be a Mexican person who admits that Taco Bell’s food tastes good even if it is not really Mexican food.
Though the Kathi roll’s paratha was a bit too chewy, the soft potatoes melted in my mouth and blended well with the sweet tamarind chutney. The slight bite of carrots — though fundamentally un-Indian — offered a heartier textural element that compensated somewhat for the lack of meat. I did not, however, appreciate the broccoli, which failed to fit comfortably in the paratha, meaning that at the end of my meal all that was left were some other tasteless potatoes and dry broccoli. This has more business being in the hospital next door than at Cox Hall.
I also tried the “Karma Melt,” another wrap-like offering with chole (chickpeas), spiced Monterey Jack cheese, vegetables and naan instead of paratha. The naan’s crispy exterior was unlike the soft, chewy naans Bhojanic offers as sides, and it disappointed me. But the chole added needed protein and zest, which refreshingly juxtaposed the lightly fried vegetables.
With prices starting at just $4.95 for the vegetable Kathi roll, Bhojanic changes the game of Cox Hall with its new relatively filling, cheap additions. If you are on the go and need something to fill your empty stomach before a lecture, consider Bhojanic before deciding to go hungry. There will always be that irritating Indian student who insists that it is “way better back home” but provided you aren’t a stickler for authenticity and you have a stapler to shut their mouth, you will finish your meal pleasantly surprised.