When Chow, Baby said it liked hanging out in South Arlington, it certainly wasn’t talking about Arlington Highlands, the self-proclaimed “lifestyle center” that has given Chow, Baby renewed appreciation for Southlake Town Square (trees! thoughtfully planned parking! directories!).

India_GrillBut Chow, Baby’s parents are coming to visit, and nothing says “Welcome, Guests!” like fresh, new sheets that have never been used as ground zero for a major snackfest. Filial love/duty would triumph over the Bed Bath & Beyond maze, though with a necessary pre-shopping stop.

India Grill (4000 Five Points Blvd. Ste 109, Arlington) is forget-the-outside-world soothing, with walls painted in soft shades of yellow and red curry. The red was reflected in our appetizer of dahi bhalla ($3.25), chickpea fritters doused in yogurt spiked with cumin and red chili powder — a lovely dip for the (free) thin lentil bread, as if the bread’s own chutney accompaniments weren’t delicious enough. Yellow reappeared in the mulligatawny muglai soup ($2.95), a light but richly spiced lentil soup with chicken. So far, so great, but it was our entrées that really astounded Chow, Baby. The creamy chicken korma ($10.50) and shrimp saag ($11.95) both displayed that cooking-timing marvel that is beyond Chow, Baby’s culinary reach: The curries tasted long-simmered, with gorgeously melded spices, yet the chicken and shrimp were not in the least overcooked. The huge shrimp still had a bit of sea-taste to them, even.

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In another magical feat, the itty bitty curry pots actually held plenty for two big eaters, with lots left over for a bedtime snack. This inspired Chow, Baby’s most brilliant idea ever: With five minutes to go before Bed Bath & Beyond’s closing time (India Grill’s pacing is, let’s say, leisurely), Chow, Baby ran in and bought … curry-colored sheets. Problem solved forever.


Go, Kart Market

You probably thought it was just you, but according to Chow, Baby’s sources (two staffers at Lowe’s Eastchase), the vast majority of home-improvement-store customers suffer some sort of tool-name aphasia and have to act out what they’re looking for. Luckily the Lowe’s folks are brilliant at charades, as Chow, Baby proved to its own amusement all afternoon by asking nounlessly for a plunger, a pair of rotary dimmer switches (hee), central-air-conditioner filters, whatever struck its fancy. And finally, what it really needed: 30-watt, 36-inch fluorescent bulbs in the “daylight” spectrum, to make its latest thrift-store find, a cool octagonal breakfast table, appear to be blue-green rather than yellow-green (ew). That was tough to act out, but Mike B. nailed it.

Chow, Baby had the energy required for these antics because it had fueled up at Lowe’s front door, at the outdoors Kart Market. (Also in front of the Lowe’s in Arlington, Hurst, Killeen, and Temple.) Grillmeister Moises made Chow, Baby a pork taco ($2.65, kinda high for a taco, but it was overstuffed) with mozzarella melted in and lots of fragrant grilled onions, topped with pico and salsa that had been made fresh that morning at Kart Market’s commissary off Hemphill Street. Many of Kart Market’s other menu items — hot dogs, Polish sausages, spicy beef links, brats, other meaty stuff — are either cooked up in-house or made by vendors to Kart Market’s recipe specs. It’s a quality operation, and along with party games, cuties in cargo shorts, and as a distant afterthought maybe a light bulb, it’s why Chow, Baby loves to shop at Lowe’s.

Contact Chow, Baby at