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Food from the Top of the World 

Friday nights blow me out of the water. Week in and week out, it's crazy, man, crazy! On Saturday mornings, I rarely rise before 11, and, when I finally drag myself out of bed, I'm still buzzing from the previous night's cacophony of cabbing.

The summer months offer a special morning-after pill in the form of Govinda & Bijaya Serchan's food stand at the Burlington Farmer's Market. You can find me there every Saturday noon without fail. This lovely couple is from Nepal, and they have brought their special cooking touch with them to the Green Mountains. I'm told that within the Himalayan kingdom the Serchan family name has been associated for generations with great culinary talent.

For the ridiculously low price of $4, the Serchans will fill up a plastic bowl with gorgeous rice, a savory vegetable curry and then, with a big smile, they'll ladle on the lentil dahl for the finishing touch.

On the side, it's up to you to spoon on the sweet sauce, hot sauce and cool yogurt raita. I come prepared with my Tupperware container, the perfect size for a double portion. I then hustle back home, open a ginger ale and consume my Nepalese feast while I watch just about any afternoon sports show on the tube. By late afternoon, I'm fully recovered and ready to hit the streets for the Saturday night reprise.

I have my doubts about globalization and all its supposed benefits. But the forces that delivered this gracious couple from the opposite side of the earth to our lucky community can't be all bad.

(The handsome woman to the right of Bijaya helps the Serchans out every Saturday. She told me they have made her an "honorary Nepalese." And that is an honor.)

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About The Author

Jernigan Pontiac

Jernigan Pontiac

Jernigan Pontiac is a Burlington cab driver whose biweekly "Hackie" column has been appearing in Seven Days since 2000. He has published two book-length collections, Hackie: Cab Driving and Life, and Hackie 2: Perfect Autumn.

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