I was kind of blown away to find out that Heather Jansz is doing a weekly pop-up at Our Kitchen, a little breakfast and burger joint in my neighborhood. She’s there most Wednesday nights, except for one week a month when she does a more elaborate dinner – “a romantic and sensual evening of sexy food and fun with Heather,” on Friday night instead. The cozy little diner at 36th and Bryant is better known for its hash browns and pancakes than burgers than for Sri Lankan lamb rotis and shrimp curries.
But maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised – Heather has been doing a Sri Lankan night on Monday nights at the Highland Grill off and on for several years, and she is not afraid to try new things. On Friday, November 7, she will be teaming up with Ingebretsen’s Scandinavian Gifts to offer a Nordic Ice with Spice cooking class and dinner at Our Kitchen that will feature, among other dishes, curried lutefisk.
Heather – known as the Curry Diva – is a legend on the local culinary scene – the former owner of the Sri Lanka Curry House and the Curry Leaf Deli, and author of a Sri Lankan cookbook, and a great cook. She is also a great teller of stories, some of which are not appropriate for children.
For her Wednesday night dinners, Heather usually offers three different entrees, including one vegetarian option, alternating between curries and rotis (flatbreads wrapped around savory fillings), all priced under $15. When Carol and I stopped in a few weeks ago, there was a choice between pork and chicken curries, and a vegetarian stirfry.
I have only sampled a few dishes so far – the pork curry, a roti topped with savory lentil dal, a vegetarian stirfry, and Heather’s signature pickled eggplant, plus a few of the seasonings and chutneys, but everything has been wonderfully complex and lively, bringing back memories of the many wonderful dishes I have enjoyed over the years.
Seating at Our Kitchen is extremely limited – 19 seats – and the dinners often sell out. To make a reservation, sign up for the Curry Diva mailing list, call Heather at 612-250-2556, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To register for Heather’s Nordic Ice with Spice class, call 612-729-9333 or email email@example.com. You can reserve your place with a credit card, cash or a check.