Baba Sweets the Samosa Nazi? Not sure, but still some really good food.

Baba Sweets

It’s already become a new neighbourhood Friday night ritual: “I’m running a little late from work tonight. What do you want to do for dinner?” “I don’t know. You want to pick something up on the way home?”

And by something, we invariably mean food from Baba Sweets, at 7561 6th St in Burnaby. Despite rethe degree to which Butter Chicken is becoming a cliche amongst Northern Indian / Punjabi restaurants in the Vancouver area, I just can’t stop eating it, especially from places who do it so masterfully as Baba Sweets does. And so far they’ve scored about 8 for 8 on anything else we’ve ordered as well: Malai Kofta (given sufficient supplies of Baba’s buttery, cheesy, nutty version of this dish, I’d quit my job and never go outside), Mutter Paneer, Shaki Paneer. . . . You get the idea.

Every luxury has its price, however, and it’s not the samosas — even though they increased in price from 3 for $1 to 2 for $1, they’re still a steal for some of the best in town. No. It’s the impermeably dour demeanor of the proprietor, which has become something of a neighbourhood legend. I’d never really just how universal was the observation until last night, when I pulled up their spot on dinehere.ca.

According to one reviewer: “The food was great, but the lady working there is always really mean. . . .” The descriptions only go downhill from there.

“Mean” is kind of a subjective word, I suppose, but there is some objective truth to some of the trends mentioned the reviews:

  • Does she smile? Not that i’ve ever seen. Despite several different approaches (smiling to her, showing genuine interest in the food or the restaurant, displaying some carefully measured humour), while she seemed to soften up a little, she never smiled outright.
  • Be prepared that any substitution, correction, or any other kind of special request will go ignored. Literally. She’ll pretend she didn’t even hear you.
  • As one reviewer mentioned, she adds up the totals in her head almost instantly. I’ve never tried to verify the subjective pricing that one reviewer claims, but last night I think my take-out meal was about $2 cheaper than I expected. Random variation? Or because of my smile efforts? Who knows.
  • Likely a direct result of the mental math, she gives receipts to no one. Try to ask for one if you like, but so far no one I know has succeeded in obtaining one, even hand written. Perhaps it’s different if you use a credit card (they allegedly take Visa), but I’m not sure.
  • Expect some other order-related quirkiness. Last night, I asked for four pieces of Naan (always a la carte at around $1.50 apiece), thinking I’d save a couple of them for breakfast. “Four pieces Naan? This big? With only two dishes? I’ll give you three pieces.” Better to be satisfied with your three Naans than risk having none at all, if you ask me. . . . Perhaps it’s other people’s experiences like this that finalized the Samosa Nazi description.
  • Regardless, I wholeheartedly agree with the other common thread amongst the reviews: “I wasn’t really offended though…3 [really good samosas] for $1…I can stand a little abuse.” The little bit of unpredictability even adds to the experience, if you ask me.

    1 Comment so far

    1. queeny (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 1:53 pm

      Hi, I packed my camera bag up with several rolls of film and a bullet proof vest as I made my way down thru Burnaby’s winding roads seeking out the Samosa Nazi today. I located the store with my high powered GPS, I ran in,with bodyguards as protection from the Samosa Nazi but to my disappointment I only found a pleasant women weilding a handful of potatoe filling I asked for 48 Samosa, yes I said 48. I thought there would be problem with 48 and that the Samosa Nazi may only want to sell me 2 or 3 but she was no doubt in hiding and other women served me with pleasantness. She even gave me a sample of a dessert. wow, I turned on my heels before the Samosa Nazi could get the scent of my trail.(which was by the way SAMOSA scent.) I made off in my armored car steering with one hand a savoring my Samosa in the other. Wow these were good and now I only have 47 more to eat.



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