Monthly Archives: October 2009

Adding “Log on as a Service” permission to a Server 2003 account

Today I setup a custom service account on a WinServer 2003 box. I expected that it would be simple enough to enable “log on as a service” through the user properties dialog. Of course life is never that easy. Since the box was a domain controller, it turns out I needed to make this change via group policy.

It was one of those cases where I didn’t have quite the correct way of asking Bing/Google for the answer. If I had, then it would have led me to some very crisp instructions on technet (account “log on as service” gives this as the third hit on Bing/first hit on Google…<sigh>).

Surguru (Pondicherry, India)


On our last afternoon in Pondy, we took the local Heritage Walk tour. During the walk around the French quarter, we started discussing food and drink with the tour guide. He told us that Pondicherry was not very good at classic French food (in line with our observations), but had good continental food and amazing South Indian food. We asked what his favorite South Indian restaurant was, and he unhesitatingly recommended Surguru. He takes his family there when they want to go out for South Indian food. So how could we resist? Off we went for our final dinner in Pondy.

Surguru is set back from the busy Mission Street, in a converted Health Department office. The building reminded me a little of a bingo hall or a community center, with a bunch of larger tables, a cashier behind small bars, and a recessed upstairs loft.

Unfortunately our camera was stolen with the pictures from this meal still on the SD card. So text will have to suffice for this one (if anyone makes it here, send me pictures of the Tandoori Idly). 

The menu at Surguru is enormous, with South Indian, North Indian, and South/North fusion dishes. We had a feast so that we could try even a small fraction of what looked intriguing:

  • Tandoori Idly – None of the Indians I’ve talked to have heard of this, but it was delicious. 3 Idlies cooked in the Tandoor with a tandoori masala sauce. The idlies were still nice and soft on the inside, with the addition of a unique smokiness and heft to the outside. I’m very sad to have lost my pictures of this special treat.
  • Channa Batura – We didn’t know what this was, but we like channa (chickpeas) and gave it a try. Turns out that a batura is a large, puffy fry bread (think poori but larger and with a thicker skin). Baturas are a bit too greasy for my taste, but it made for an impressive picture (oops), and the channa preparation was great. Spicy, complex, and perfectly cooked channa.
  • Mangalore Set Dosa with Vada Curry – Surguru has an entire section of their menu dedicated to dosai, and we asked the waiter for his recommendation. A Mangalore dosa is solely made of rice, which makes it lighter and lacier than your standard dosa. The “set” part of the dosa meant that it was cooked on one side and served in a set of two. It came out more like a medium-sized pancake than the paper-thin dosai I’ve had in the past. As advertised it was served with a vada curry, which was thick, brown, spicy and went well with the dosa.
  • 3 Taste Uttapam – I’d seen uttapam on a bunch of menus and didn’t know what they were. The “3 Taste Uttapam” seemed like a good way to try them out. The uttapam was pancake-ish (like the set dosa but cooked on both sides) with vegetables mixed in. The 3 tastes were onion, tomato, and parsley. The parsley was my favorite, the herbs mixed into the uttapam went very well with the assortment of chutneys. The onion and tomato were fine, but less exciting.

Overall, the food was fantastic and very cheap. Staff were friendly, and the ambience was entertaining. It was fun watching the food stream out of the kitchen. We’ll definitely be back next time we’re in the area, and I highly recommend checking out Surguru if you’re in Pondicherry.

99 Mission Street (+ 2 other locations)
Pondicherry, India
+91 4308082

Daily: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Cre’art (Pondicherry, India)


Lauren and I spent some time shopping this afternoon. By 16:30 I needed a break for a snack. Conveniently enough, we were at a shop with an attached cafe. Lunch #2 consisted of a thali with  your choice of 6 salads, bread, a drink, tea or coffee, and a sweet.

The French proprietor makes her own hibiscus and mint syrups, so we had a hibiscus soda to start:


For our thali, we  chose the tomato salad, ratatouille, shredded beets + garlic, shredded carrot salad, cucumbers and curd, and pomegranate seeds.


To conclude, we had a very nice mint tea served with a mini cashew brittle. Tasty, light, and total cost of 150 Rs (about $3). What’s not to like?

53 Suffren Street
Pondicherry, India
+91 413-4200258

Kasha Ki Aasha (Pondicherry, India)


Pondicherry is renowned for their food scene, which takes its French colonial history, current new age influences, and mixes it up Tamil-style.

Kasha Ki Aasha has a shop on the ground flood that sources from local artisans and promotes a “fair trade” system. Upstairs is a rooftop cafe/lounge with a nice breeze, soft cushions, and a myriad of magazines from the past decade.

The food is European/Indian fusion, with a focus on whole grains and fresh vegetables. We started with some refreshing beverages – fresh pineapple juice and iced tea. The iced tea was unsweetened with sugar on the side, a welcome change.


I ordered the Indian Enchilada, a mix of dal, onions, and salsa wrapped in a chapati with cheese and salsa on top, curd on the side.


Lauren got the Black Bean Burger – two large patties with a carrot salad. No bun.


All of the excitement from this vegetarian fare made my wife a little sleepy (I’m sure it had nothing to do with our overnight bus ride):


Overall we had a lovely time relaxing at Kasha Ki Aasha. I’m eyeing the pancakes for my next visit!

Update (10/24/09): We used a free pass to Uptown Fitness Studio this morning that we had received from lunch. We were wondering if there was an association (maybe a family member owned the gym). Turns out that Kasha recently took over management of the gym. She was managing the desk this morning, and is an American from upstate New York. 

Kasha Ki Aasha
23 Rue Surcouf
Pondicherry, India
+91 413 2222963

Mon – Sat: 8:00AM – 9:00 (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Saturday Café (Bodhnath, Nepal)


Over the past few days we’ve spend a lot of time at the Saturday Café. We were first wooed by the baked goods at the takeaway stand downstairs. Their bakery stand wouldn’t have been out of place in Seattle or Portland, with its assortment of organic grains and juices. Fresh-baked quality whole wheat bread is near-impossible to find in Nepal, so we grabbed a loaf to snack on.

Later that night, we returned for dinner on their rooftop deck. They have a fine stupa view, though it disappeared when the heavens opened up shortly into our meal.

Their menu is primarily soups and snacks, with momos and a few entrees also on offer. I ordered the hot and spicy tofu stir fry. The peppers and onions were fresh and crispy, and it was served with a large portion of brown rice. Unfortunately the sauce fell flat. Mildly spicy at best, and mostly flavorless and uninspired.


Lauren ordered the vegetable noodles, which were much better. They had a a good kick, and a large mix of veggies (carrots, onions, assorted greens). On par with a solid yakisoba in the states.


Saturday Café offers free wireless, so we lingered after dinner, waited out the worst of the rain, and caught up on some blog posts and photos. The staff were very nice, and very chill.

Last night, after a disappointing dinner at Rabsel Garden Café, we were back for a late evening snack.  The momos had caught my eye. We’ve been having a lot of momos lately, but the choices at Saturday Café were unique, including the spinach and paneer ones that we ordered (no pics as we left the camera home that evening). The noodle wrapped around spinach and paneer resulted in a good texture, and while the flavors of the momos themselves were fairly weak, the accompanying dipping sauces perked them right up.

I also ordered the mango sorbet, and was reminded as to why I shouldn’t order frozen desserts in Nepal. Turns out that there are two options for refrigeration here. The first is your standard 40ish degree fridge. The other is a below zero freeze-fest. My sorbet was served in a bowl, but was a block of mango ice. It was in the “hockey puck meets flower” shape of those plastic containers you get from the ice cream truck. While it was tasty enough pureed mango once it slowly defrosted over the next 30 minutes, I wouldn’t recommend expending the effort.

On our last morning, we got up early to catch a bus to Sundarijal and Saturday Café was the only place that we knew was open at 7AM. So we had our final breakfast there. 🙂

Their porridge is served with apples and raisins, which is not as good a combination as the more common banana approach that we had enjoyed at a different cafe the morning before. It took care of the problem though.


I had the spinach omelet, which is served with their house-made bread. The omelet was a standard Nepalese-style with spinach mixed in.


Overall, Saturday Café is a relaxing place to hang out. The deck is pleasant, the staff are very nice, and the food is decent. Prices are a little high for what you get (though still very cheap relative to the US of course), and it’s definitely worth stopping by the bakery for some hiking snacks.

Saturday Café
Bodhnath, Nepal
+977 2073157

Daily: 7:00AM – 8:30PM (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Stupa View Café (Bodhnath, Nepal)


Today for lunch we took advantage of the brief respite from stormy weather to check out the Stupa View Café. They advertise the best view in the city, and their 3 level rooftop deck did not disappoint.

View from our table

Given the prime location and tourist target, the prices are reasonable (cheaper than the equivalent restaurants in Thamel). As with most places in this Buddhist town, Stupa View is all vegetarian. Conveniently enough, the items we were most interested were all pulled together in their “Potpourri” assortment:


All five of the included dishes were enjoyable. The best dish (which Lauren was hankering for over the next few days) was the Oriental Lentil Balls. Well-seasoned lentils with a light peanut sauce and crispy on the outside, they were the kind of dish that can put meat to shame.  The fried aubergine was lightly breaded, flash-fried, delightfully crispy, and served with a creamy tzatziki. The pizza was decent, though it was the weakest dish of the bunch. The fruit salad was a refreshing conclusion to the meal, served with fresh fruit in tamarind with mint.


Fried Aubergine w/ Tzatziki Fruit Salad with Caramel Nuts
Mushroom Pizza
Elephant Feet Oriental Lentil Balls

Overall an excellent meal and the next time we’re in Kathmandu/Bodhnath, we’ll be sure to enjoy some oriental lentil balls on the roof!

Stupa View Café
Bodhnath, Nepal
+977 4480262

Yin Yang (Kathmandu, Nepal)


We arrived in Kathmandu this afternoon.   While the past three days of Nepali home cooking have been fantastic, we decided to change things up tonight with some Thai food.

Yin Yang is located just off the main drag in Thamel, in a garden courtyard that is a pleasant oasis from the constant noise, traffic, and hawkers outside. The chefs hail from Thailand, and the food is supposed to be authentic.

We ordered Panang Chicken and Phad See Iw “hot” on their scale of “mild”/“medium”/“hot”.  Due to our skin color, Lauren and I are usually treated with spiciness kid gloves in Asian countries (much to our frustration). However, tonight the Panang Chicken had a decent amount of kick to it, on par with a Thai Tom 3-star. The clay pot kept the curry piping hot throughout our meal.


The Phad See Iw was served in the same manner as in Thailand, i.e. “spice it yourself”. Just like our noodles experiences in Thailand, our Phad See Iw was quite bland initially and we asked for the spice rack. Four spices later (one each for salty, sweet, hot and sour), the noodles were excellent.


There’s nothing better to wash down your spicy food than a cold Everest Beer! Everest tasted like most other Asian beers I’ve had (Tsing Tao, Chang, Singha, Tiger, Saigon).


Overall a delicious Thai meal with attentive service in a lovely setting. What more could we ask for?

Yin Yang
Kathmandu, Nepal