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Sep 14, 2006 10:11 PM

Best Indian in Atlanta?

I am seriously grasping at straws here. Love Panahar but it is not Indian. I am just not into Zyka, Bhojanic, Raja, etc. Can someone help me out?

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  1. South Indian veg: Madras Saravanna Bhavan. Get a dhosa. Get an idli. get some chat. Get a channa puri. Do NOT get the lunch buffet. They have some Chinese stuff not to my taste, although the South Asians love it. Do not got to their Bollywood meat grill place diagonally across the parking lot.

    Cannot recommend any non-veg Indian places. Hope your query turns something up. Bear in mind that Hindus don't eat meat, so the best meat places would be Pakistani-Moslem, which cuisine has astounding flavors. Unfortunately, the population is not well represented here. It is very well represented on Lexington Ave in the twenties in NYC, and out in Queens along 21st st and also Steinway st. If that is your destination, I can suggest several places.

    Pls report back.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Steve Drucker

      Hi; I've eaten at Saravana Bhavan in nyc; heaven. & I cook kerala dishes at home so let me 2nd with the best:

      Dosas- lentil crepes stuffed with spicy potatoes
      sambar- thin lentil dal for dipping your crepe in
      rasam- thin tamarind based soup
      uttapam- fermented rice pancake (this is a light dish)
      iddly- cream of wheat type dumplings (dip them in sambar or
      coconut chutney)
      medhu vadai- lentil dumplings,
      chickpea curry- creamy spicy
      these are the famous Southern dishes, that you should order. Avoid any northern ones (palak paneer, alu ghobi & gobi manchurian they would be mediocre. Also be up front about your heat index, as Southern food is spicy. I love it hot so I say 'please make it Indian hot" my friends might say 'medium'
      go & enjoy.
      For meat dishes I'd look for a place that serves great biryani. these are restaurant dishes you can't do at home, they're a lot of trouble.

    2. Hmm, I thought you were in the know of most thing in ATL, but...while many dis' Planet Bombay, and I agree it is inconsistent, it is the closest representation of English styled Indian food in ATL. I lived for a while near Braford, England (largest east asian population in the UK) and had my share of Tindaloo's and Fall...and Planet Bombay can be very representative of that style. Service can be a bummer and food quality must hinge on who's cooking, but when right, it is 'spot on'.

      1. I do know everything...and my wife is always right.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Steve Drucker

          Then you would know that a lot, prehaps even a majority, of Hindus do eat meat. Trust me I know, being a Bengali Hindu born and raised in Calcutta.

          As for Panahar, while it is technically true that it is a Bangladeshi and not an Indian restaurant, it is very representative of the food in the northeastern provinces of India, particularly West Bengal. Remember, Bangladesh was a part of India before 1947. Besides, the folks doing the cooking in the kitchens of many Indian restaurants are often Bangladeshis.

          1. re: bbqme

            Many Hindus eat chicken or lamb but not beef. Also Bangladesh was never part of present day India; it was part of British Raj and Mughal empire prior to that; both those empires encompassed a much broader region than "India" including Myanmar, Srilanka, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
            Bangladeshi cuisine has some differences from fish oriented west Bengali cuisine. There is lot more mughal influence including items like Kachi Biriyani, beef chaap.
            If one wants to bring all the various cuisines together, South Asian but be a better term than Indian.

        2. What do I know. My Pakistani Moslem busness associates eat meat (halal, preferably) and mostly do not imbibe, my South Asian Hindu friends do not eat meat and mostly bend the elbow. Merely anecdotal, small sample size, surely not authoritative.

          To quote the inestimable and timeless Firesign Theatre troup "We're all bozo's on this bus".

          More to the point of the OP: WHERE in ATL are chow worthy South Asian eating opportunities?
          --re Panahar: my one experience, long ago, bore little resemblence to the flavor intensive and piquant cooking served in Bangla homes.
          --re Other, non-veg: there's a saying in Chicago that all the food in Greektown comes from one central kitchen. Sort of duplicates my experience with Indian food here in Atlanta.

          With goodness knows how many South Asian sub-continent languages--and corresponding cuisines to match--one keeps hoping for the more authentic. Not as served in the UK, not as served everywhere else, but parochial, expressive of and peculiar to a particular region or city.

          Now that's a mouthful.

          1. Thanks for the ideas guys. My experiences at Madras have been lackluster to be quite honest.Bbqme: where would you go for meat dishes? I like Panahar's but would like to try somewhere else. Also looking for a good saag paneer. Have not found one that compares to my experiences in London or the Bay area.