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Found 128 results

  1. It was one of "those" nights. I had a glass of wine early, and couldn't get motivated to go out restaurant hopping. I wanted to get a good night's sleep, get up early, and get some things accomplished. There could be no doubt - it was time for carryout at Cafe Taj. Over the years, I've been to Cafe Taj many times, although I haven't been much lately. I've always found it pleasant and reliable, it not ground-breaking or exciting, and that's exactly what I was after last night. Karahi Kabob Lamb ($14.95) Eggplant Bharta ($12.95) Fresh Garlic Kulcha ($2.95) Raita ($2.95) Double order of pickles Came home, dumped everything into a mixing bowl, poured a lusty glass of wine, scarfed everything down with a tablespoon, left half of it, didn't remember what I ate five minutes later, bang, dinner is done. Cheers, Rocks.
  2. Has anyone wondered why the outlandishly luxurious Indian restaurant, Punjab Grill (website), just ... appeared? Did you know this wasn't their first restaurant in the Washington, DC area? The corporation behind it also owns American Tandoor (website) in Tysons Corner, which just closed suddenly, and without explanation. Jan 23, 2020 - "American Tandoor Temporarily Closes in Tysons Corner Center" by Catherine Douglas Moran on tysonsreporter.com American Tandoor is owned by Lite Bite Foods (website), a huge corporation in India. Lite Bite Foods also owns Punjab Grill, which has numerous locations in India (website), and if you click on the "Locations" link (bottom-right), you'll be taken to the "Institutional Catering Outlets" section of their website (although they apparently feature "Bespoke Catering" (website)). Lite Bite Foods has, according to their website, "a scale of over passionate 3500 employees." (I don't know if that's missing a hypen, or two words need to be flipped). They're also in partnership with Subway, PVR Cinemas, etc. - they own or manage over 300 restaurants (if you mill around their Indian corporate website, you can find out a lot), and I doubt they're shedding too many tears over the "temporary" closure of American Tandoor. But, in case anyone was wondering how or why someone spent so much money on decorating Punjab Grill, here's your answer. The opening chef here is apparently quite talented, and it would be wise to go on an off-night when you know he's running the kitchen and not slammed. Is this the "game-changing restaurant" Food and Wine (website) declared it to be last year? This company appears to be about volume and making money (although you could say the same thing about LVMH (website), who owns some of the most revered brands in the world (take a look at them - they're a remarkable collection) so who knows).
  3. I'm intrigued. I would like to organize a small group dinner here in the near future (6-8 people). Let me know if you're interested.
  4. Rasa Grill opened in SE in Navy Yard in December. It's fast casual Indian (or more like Indian-ish), locally sourced ingredients, and some fun fusion (Masala Gin Tonic!). They have pre-made bowls, or you can make your own. Really beautiful space, fun colors, neat design. Great back story, too. They made Eater's hot list for this month and review have been good. Anyway, I won't say too much, since I'm an investor, except that I think it's pretty darn tasty, and you should try it out and let me know what you think!
  5. "Curry Mantra 4" is called London Curry House and is now open at 191 Somerville St, Alexandria, VA in Cameron Station (see attached screenshot of Curry Mantra's website identifying it as the Curry Mantra 4th location). According to this Windsor at Arbors Apartments blog post, London Curry House opened during the week of August 17.
  6. Have you tried K.N. Vinod's Chicken Chettinad? If not, write me, and I'll track him down and find out where you can find his best version - it is revelatory.
  7. Everyone, the first DC pop up of the Thali Llama Regional Indian Pop Up Series was a big success last week. Featuring the cuisine of Goa, it was a really nice introduction for these New Orleans-based chefs to the DC scene. Many thanks to Bar Bullfrog for welcoming them and creating a fantastic cocktail pairing menu for the evening. They are doing it again on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 17 and 18, this time featuring the dishes of Rajasthan. They are doing a tasting menu, $55 for the menu, $45 for a vegetarian version. Menu cost includes service; alcohol and its service is separate and goes to Bar Bullfrog, who will again be creating cocktails for the occasion. Check out the menu and tickets on their Eventbrite page. Thanks for your support.
  8. On September 3 and 4 - the Thali Llama, a New Orleans-based business that operates the Regional Indian Pop-Up Series will be showcasing chef Tyler Stuart's authentic Indian cooking - the featured region is Goa. This is my daughter and her boyfriend's business, they are visiting and are pretty excited to pop up in her hometown. We would love a big turnout to support not only these young kids just starting out, but to also thank host Bar Bullfrog with some bar income love. Please spread the word, and if you are at all interested in really delicious and unusual Indian cuisine, please come out. They are selling tickets on Eventbrite, but are also taking walk-ins. We would love suggestions on how to get the word out about this - any local journalists/bloggers on here? Facebook Page with Reviews Eventbrite Link Thank you!
  9. Restaurateurs, I have a friend whose daughter has a New Orleans-based pop-up business: The Thali Llama. They want to bring it to Washington, DC for one week in late August, and are looking for a space. If anyone knows of any pop-up spaces available for a week in August, please contact either me, or Lori Feinman. Here are some Instagram posts about The Thali Llama by New Orleans food bloggers: Jason Vowell @cici_eats Lorin Gaudin
  10. This is the second location of Bombay Street Food, which opened last year in Columbia Heights, from the former owner of the Curry Mantras. The menus look very similar but not exactly the same, so I didn't include the original location in the title. (Don, can you make a decision on this? Maybe they should be together.) I went with a group yesterday for brunch and we sampled a good deal of the menu guided by our friend who is Indian and very picky about Indian food. She gives this restaurant her seal of approval. Not an expert on Indian food myself, I thought it was quite good. I especially loved the naan, but I'm kind of a bread fiend. We had both garlic and cheese naans, the latter because it reminded my friend of what her grandmother used to make her as a child. Both types were nicely charred but soft and puffy and wonderful, and in the case of the latter, full of delightfully stringy cheese. We started with Bombay Palak Chat and Bhel Puri, both of which were delicious and more than ample portions for 6 to share as an appetizer. I loved the puffed rice in the Bhel Puri. I had never had this before and would want to order on a return trip. Another one of my favorites from the meal was the Sheek Kabob. I didn't fare as well with the Goat Biryani, which I liked the taste of but encountered trouble with the bone-in aspect. This comes in the traditional way, with naan baked over the top. (I don't see it on the online menu so I may have messed up my notes, but I'm almost certain this was goat.) The Chicken Vindaloo was nice and spicy, so the orders of Raita we had came in handy. The Saagpanir, which was something I wanted to order, impressed me less than I expected, but at some point I was getting near food coma, which may have been a factor. I didn't try the Butter Chicken, which was ordered in honor of some British connections in the group, nor the Chicken Tikka Roll. There was also rice, which I'm mentioning for the sake of completeness. I didn't eat a whole lot of it because I was filling up on everything else. We had wine and beer, which got nursed along at the end of the meal as we talked. They never seemed to be trying to rush us out, even though we stayed quite a while after the bill was paid. I'd happily go back.
  11. We had takeout from Aabshaar Restaurant last night and it was amazing! Pakora came off the steam table of the buffet, but was delicious and crispy nonetheless. Keema was the best version I've tried (out of 3). Daal Mahani was full of wonderful flavors. Tandoori chicken was moist and flavorful, although some pieces were more bone than meat. This is really good cooking and we are so glad we tried it!
  12. There has been an awning up for Saffron for a couple of weeks now. Given that they already have a restaurant in Broadlands, and that Curry Mantra 2 was in nearly turnkey shape, there shouldn't be much of a wait. Haandi can't catch a break, and maybe this time around, the competition will keep prices down: Both Haandi and Curry Mantra 2 were two of the most expensive Indian restaurants in the DC area despite being almost across the street from one another. "Curry Mantra 2 Is Now Saffron Indian Cuisine" by Sally Cole on fcnp.com
  13. There is this good Indian restaurant across from the Tortilla Factory in Herndon that has a nice "spread". I apologize but the name is not remarkable but the food is! On weekends you get bread baskets of hot naan at your table. They have a chaat bar with the little crisps, chickpeas/potato blend, yogurt & tamarind sauce and the fixin's.... also salad! I love a good CHAAT bar can't find any down here yet. They usually have Lamb/Goat (I always confuse the two - don't ask!) a spinach dish, a vegetable dish such as okra with tomatoes or potatoes and peppers and other delicious stuff! Two kinds of rice are featured the saffron rice and a chicken basmati rice also they have Tandoori chicken and a real spicy chicken on a wok near the breads and pakora's. Their pakoras and other breads are great as is most of their food. For dessert they usually have Gulab Jamun and/or custard w/fruit or rice pudding (indian style). They have a generous bar and the owner is very nice! Now if I can find a restaurant in VA that makes Poori regularly and has papadum and Samosas in the buffet! (wink) On a side note we've had mixed reviews from friends. Our direct friends loved it but on a separate visit... well, their friends said the waiter asked them "Where is your accent from" - they replied "We're from (another country)" to which the waiter purportedly said... "What do you think about .....(something controversial and NOT appropriate)?" which made them upset/concerned! They got up and left and told my friend about this. It would not make me NOT go unless it was said to me, or I overheard it... but I thought it might be worth mentioning.
  14. If you are in need of a place to meet between DC and Baltimore- my favorite lately is House of India off Snowden River Pkwy in Columbia. I have only explored the veg side of the menu but it has all been really good. The palak paneer haunts my dreams with large pieces of paneer and creamy spinach. The channa masala and other veg entrees have been delicious as well. There is a menu for 2 that also includes naan, soup and pakora for $40 a really good deal considering entrees are about $15. The meat version is a little bit more. The staff are also very nice.
  15. Sounds like part of Ardeo+Bardeo will be re-vamped into Bindaas, an Indian street food restaurant with Vikram Sunderam overseeing the food: "Rasika Chef Vikran Sunderam to Oversee Upcoming Indian Street-Food Restaurant" by Becky Krystal on washingtonpost.com At 50 seats, I'm assuming the smaller side space that used to be Bardeo will become Bindaas. Targeted opening early August, but you know how that goes. According to the article, Ardeo+Bardeo will continue with a dining room and the upstairs patio.
  16. What is the difference between Chapati and Roti?
  17. Hey - anyone with experience making naan? On skillet or baked? Anyone try grilling? Having a little dinner party and wanted to see if I can make at home rather than buying it. -S
  18. Ravi Kabob III in Springfield is now Karahi Kabob. Same place, same menu, same clientele, same Hajj posters on the wall, but different name and different owner. I was thinking of tucking into the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet at $7.99, but I had a hankering for saltenas and headed over to El Sabor Bolivano across the street. But I will be back.
  19. I feel like I am on a mission to find really good, fast, and tasty lunch places while working downtown near Metro Center for this month. Today's find was based on a recent post for quick lunch ideas near Metro Center (see post #12 for original suggestion), specifically, a recommendation for Mayur Kabab House. Having driven past there numerous times, but not brave enough to go in until today, I was quite pleased with the results. For lunch, the best option is their Lunch Buffet for $8.00 (tax included). The buffet, which can be dine-in or carry out (I chose the latter) includes four vegetable dishes, chicken curry (bone-in), chicken kabab (also bone-in) and rice and baked naan. The portions were HUGE, to the extent that I now have dinner too. The vegetable dishes for today were: daal, paneer with peas, an eggplant dish, and a cauliflower dish. The eggplant was very soft and flavorful and the chicken kabob and curry chicken both very moist and not dried out from the burners. Would definitely go back.
  20. Our family is from Maharastra (west-central India) so I didn’t grow up with the north Indian/Pakistani food common in this area. We’ve been trying different south Indian restaurants because the flavors are closer to what I’m used to. I learned of this restaurant from Tyler Cowen’s website. We’ve gotten carryout several times now (they give a 10% discount if you do carryout and pay with cash). The Chettinad region is known for its cuisine so I was eager to try the food. I highly recommend this restaurant; the food has been consistently delicious. The menu has some North Indian standards but we’ve stuck with the southern dishes. Among our favorites are kozhi varuval (boneless chicken in dark spices), ennai kathirikai kuzhambu (small eggplants in an oniony tomato sauce), dal tadka (remarkably tasty rendition of this humble dish presumably owing to the generous amount of ghee), and Chettinadu kothamalli chicken curry. We always ask for "spicy". In the south, people use a lot of hot peppers. To my taste, Chettinadu’s spicy is just right- a lot of heat but it doesn’t prevent my enjoyment of the other flavors. Recently, we dined in because we wanted to try the dosas. We had three: chilly/onion; paneer; and masala. They were served with three sauces: tomato; coconut; and mint as well as sambhar. The dosas were good, though I prefer the “paper” style. The sauces were fine but the sambhar was outstanding. I’m glad we went. Besides getting to try the dosas, we got to see an Indian “aunty” in action. Indian aunties don’t have filters and cause embarrassment and amusement around them. This one explained in detail to the young waiter how one is supposed to make dosas (use more ghee among other things) and she offered to go to the kitchen to show the cook what to do. When that didn’t work, she asked the waiter to have the cook come out “just for a minute” so she could tell him. Unfortunately, the chef was busy filling orders for the now-full dining room. Her embarrassed son paid the check and gently tried to lead her out of the restaurant. On her way out, she stopped at a table to give the diners a critique of her meal.
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