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DonRocks

Cafe Taj, Northern Indian on Beverly Road in Downtown McLean - Closed

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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.

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didn't remember what I ate five minutes later, bang, dinner is done.

My sentiment exactly, and it's unfortunate, because Cafe Taj used to be (five years ago?) one of my go-to Indian destinations. Almost everything from the standards (chicken makhani, began bartha) to the atypical (great little lamb meatballs) was exceptionsal. Then they must have lost their chef, because the cooking became standard Indian. Don't get me wrong, I'll happily eat standard Indian, particularly on a night like Don had, but go-to Indian is something one doesn't easily forget once it's gone. . .

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I agree with both of you. I used to eat at Taj a lot, now I take the extra 2 minutes and go to Hanndi

My sentiment exactly, and it's unfortunate, because Cafe Taj used to be (five years ago?) one of my go-to Indian destinations. Almost everything from the standards (chicken makhani, began bartha) to the atypical (great little lamb meatballs) was exceptionsal. Then they must have lost their chef, because the cooking became standard Indian. Don't get me wrong, I'll happily eat standard Indian, particularly on a night like Don had, but go-to Indian is something one doesn't easily forget once it's gone. . .

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I hate to chirp in this chorus but I too now patronize Haandi for take out. Haandi is completely different level of flavor and spicing.

Taj once was a pleasant lunch spot with the buffett and take out was good but the quality for both really went down hill in recent years. Since Taj is far more convenient location-wise (vs Haandi) I am eager to give it another shot.

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We had some uneven take out from Cafe Taj the other night. We began with the Combination Platter and found the vegetable pakoras to be tasty, but that's really it for that dish. The problem was that the other items just didn't seem fresh and were overly dry. The lamb kabob was two tiny pieces, both of which were as dry as can be. The chicken pakora had one tasty bite right in the middle, but to either side it was dry and tasteless. The samosa was just bland.

We really enjoyed the curry sauce that the Shrimp Curry was prepared in, and would get a curry dish again. However, this particular dish, priced at $20, was a total rip off. I don't think it had more than 10 shrimp, and we're talking 50-count size here. Fortunately, 2 orders of Onion Kulcha helped us make the most of the dish by sopping up all the remaining curry sauce.

We also enjoyed the Chicken Tikka Masala, which was ample, tho it was hardly prepared in a "lightly spiced tomato sauce". Instead, it came in what most would consider an overly sweet tomato sauce. I bet most people on this board would get this dish and think it came prepared in canned tomato sauce drek ... but what can I say, we like what we like.

They forgot the raita, which i had to go back for (oh well), but it's an ample portion, and tasty.

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I'm not sure if "7 Spice Fine Indian Cuisine" was under the same ownership as Cafe Taj, but the space is now The Union.

Jul 23, 2019 - "'The Union' Restaurant Coming to Downtown McLean" by Catherine Douglas Moran on tysonsreporter.com

Cafe Taj had really gone downhill this millenium (details here), but it was a regular haunt of mine back in the 1990s (along with Greek Taverna), and those were the two-best restaurants in McLean at the time.

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