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IndAroma Bakery and Cafe, Little River Turnpike in Annandale

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Has anyone been to IndAroma before? It's in Annandale and has interesting looking sandwiches and baked goods.

I've been there twice and liked it. There aren't that many places in the area to get the indian snack/street food items, and the ones i had there weren't half bad at all. i especially appreciated that they weren't overly sweet/ overly covered with tamarind chutney like the versions at many places. i think i've had the frankie and the gobi manchurian roll (i liked the frankie much better, the manchurian was sweeter than i'm used to, and the frankie had a nice mint-yogurt sauce), the pani puri (was fine, and the water had more mint init than most places, which was nice) and the alu tiki (good).

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My sister and I had dinner here last night about 7:30-ish. It's a small place -- seats maybe 30-35 fully packed? There were about four tables taken when we arrived, but by the time we were served, we were the only table left. However, there was a fair amount of take-out business going on, and folks obviously were familiar with the owner b/c everyone was chatting with him when they came in. Very friendly, very pleasant fellow. It's a place where you at the counter and they bring the food. I got lamb biryani and sis got tandoori lamb chops. Mine was nice, not as spicy as some biryanis I've had and I actually appreciated it, because the last couple have been so hot that I couldn't taste the other flavors. Owner came over and explained that the raita is a more modern, non-traditional accompaniment; that in India, typically biryani is served with a brown onion gravy on it (which sounds delicious as well). Sis enjoyed hers but did say the lamb was seasoned with so many spices that it didn't really taste of lamb, it could have been any meat. Hers came with naan, dal, a mint chutney, and a third dish that I don't recall, but she liked it overall and it smelled very good. The naan was nice, too, as she was willing to share a bit of that with me. Lots of yummy looking cake slices and creamy filled things in the bakery case but we were so stuffed we didn't get anything sweet. It's on the way home if I take that route, so I imagine I'll be picking up some take-out from time to time in the future. I'd like to explore the menu some more.

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Was at the Pinecrest Shopping Plaza for lunch today, intending to grab a slice at Flippin' Pizza, but that is now closed, so went around the corner and considered the options (5 Guys, Ind-Aroma, Firehouse Subs, a chinese take-out, Tropical Smoothie and Fireflies) and decided to go with IndAroma.  I think I made the right choice.  Got the chaat papdi and a samosa.  The samosas are pre-fried and then reheated, served with a spicy green sauce and a mildly sweet brown sauce, and suffered from not being fresh out of the fryer.  The filling was the traditional potato & peas and nicely creamy and would have been well served with a hot, crunchy exterior, but was limp and rather chewy.  The chaat papdi was very brightly flavored with yogurt and cilantro and fairly priced at $5.25 for a smallish serving.  I haven't had it in a while to compare, but I seem to recall the the Shiny's Sweets' (in the heart of Annandale) chaat papri as being a bit spicier and also tangier with sumac & a more pronounced tamarind flavor; the price/serving size would probably be about equal by ounce but I think Shiny's serving is larger.  

At any rate, it was a tasty lunch at a fair price.

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We are not ordering out very much these days but tonight we needed to. So we tried IndAroma. I called in the order and Kay got it. Total was $35 for a ton of food and Kay left them a nice tip in the ajr.

Bhel Puri was really nice. We smothered it iwth the provided mint and tamarind sauces and a little raita. Lots of crunch bits, very filling for something that seemed so insubstantial at first. it was really good.

Aachari Paneer Tikka was quite tasty, but way to much of an order for just the two of us. It was a heavy dish that could ahvave gone 4 or 6 ways. The paneer was denser than most, maybe homemade? It was rubbed with a sour pickle sauce and than put inthe Tandoor. Good,  and we did finish it, but not a thing I'd order again unless we were with a large group. I do believe that we used to go out in large groups to eat, but I am not sure if that really used to happen or if it is just some sort of mass hallucination.. 

Kabob Platter was a dish of seekh kabob chicken tikka and shrimp, 4 pieces of each. ALl were well cooked in the tandoor and then they served it in a rick red gravy loaded with onion & pepper. It was sneaky spicy. Again, really good.

The paratha was just OK. I don't think it traveled well. The raita was, again, better than I expected. 

All in all, a very pleasant surprise and it will be in our rotation in the future. Kay said the pickup process was easy. 

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