Shalimar to Patrons: “Pff! You Will NOT Pour Yourselves Water”

Shalimar is an Indian/Pakistani buffet on Polk Street. If you are thinking of going to this restaurant, be ever so cautious and heed the following:

Do not, under any circumstances, no matter how incredibly thirsty you may become, attempt to pour yourself, or anyone else, water from the pitchers at the beginning of the buffet line.

Do not be fooled into thinking that since the pitchers are found next to the self-serve buffet and the plates, and the silverware, and the napkins, and the glasses, and, for that matter, housed under the roof of a please-help-yourself, take-more-than-you-want, actually-take-more-than-you-could-possibly-ever-need establishment, that it would be prudent of you to refill your own glass.

Shalimar employs water boys, or a water boy, rather (looks like a boy, sounds like a boy, is in fact a man), who, I found out, takes his job very, very seriously. Even more so than Adam Sandler does, or did.

As I reached for the pitcher, a loud, snappy chirp bludgeoned my ear drums...

“Ex-CUSE me, sir! You will NOT pour yourself water! That is MY job!”


He first ripped the sweating pitcher out of my hand, then the glass out of my other. He marched back to where I was sitting, roughly 15 feet away, my arms still at a 90-degree angle to my body in a weird sort of abandoned pouring position from holding said items now taken, filled my glass, water spewing out of the container like Niagara, and slammed it down on the table – all the while never looking at what he was doing, but instead staring fiercely into me eyes.

Everyone in the tiny place had turned their heads to gawk, probably thinking I tried to hold up the buffet at gun point, maybe for money, maybe to cut in line. Who knows? They slowly directed their attention back to their plates, taking small sips from their glasses, scared shitless of having to ask for more.

On Yelp, Shalimar invites guests to “…
indulge in a sweet temptation… there's no excuse!” Actually, Shalimar, I can think of one pretty good excuse, but I don’t know how to say his name. Let’s go with Water Boy. Water Boy is a pretty damn good excuse not to indulge in a sweet temptation or ever set foot in your cursed restaurant again.

Let us further examine the comments found on Yelp.

Connie C.: “I like how they give each table a pitcher of water, because they know you'll keep on needing a refill.”

Well holy fucking shit. What happened here? Connie gets an entire pitcher of water and I get the Water Nazi? Doesn’t seem fair.

Mike W.: “My only warning about the place: avoid the tap water like the plague. Something in the place makes it taste vile.”

Whoa. I didn’t really notice this, probably because I felt privileged just to get one glass and cherished every last drop of it. Maybe Water Boy had another breakdown and started poisoning the pitchers? That’ll really deter them from wanting more and, eek, squash the possibility of them getting it themselves!

Erin R.: “I'm sticking with Naan-N-Curry.”

That’s more like it. Go, Erin!

Lucas M.: “Quick service, cheap prices – pretty spicy though, so prepare to drink lots of water.”

Yeah, Lucas, you know, it was a bit spicy but the whole MURDEROUS STARE and pouring charade kind of did me in. Wish I could’ve.

Vivian K.: “We were brought two pitchers of water and six Styrofoam cups for three people.”


What a menace, that Water Boy - tyrant of the Indian buffet.

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