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Mint, chapel Hill

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  • Rory Sep 13, 2008 03:20 PM

It's open, I went by today. I diidn't eat there, the interior is very nice but personally I'm a bit disappointed by the menus: a lot of the same old suspects: samosas, chicken tikka, sag paneer, lamb vindaloo etc. They have lots of fish and they do have goat curry. And the dessert list is nice. I hope the chef is great.

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  1. Where is it exactly? And have you found a website for them by chance?

    1 Reply
    1. re: durhamois

      durhamois;
      sorry! it's 504 E. Franklin St. right next to India Palace, a couple of steps down from Elaine's. No website...which is insane. They have thalis too, I know the vegetarian one is $14.

    2. You know, I drove by there about a month ago and saw a big sign saying something like "only first class Indian in Chapel Hill to open soon." Then went by a week or two later and saw no sign, nothing, and started to wonder if I'd imagined things. I'm thrilled even with samosas, etc. if the quality is good (Love indian food but when it feels mass produced it is horrible). I cannot wait to hear reports on this one. You want to be the guinea pig Rory?

      1. I went yesterday at lunch and tried the buffet, so I don't really want to pass judgment based upon that. But my initial impressions are similar to Rory's -- the inside is nice (kinda reminds me of Saffron in that the bar is very prominent within the restaurant space), though the buffet was fine but typical. The naan, brought to table, was good -- crispy where it should be & not too buttery. I only had the veggie entrees: all of them were tasty, though nothing really struck me as being fantastic. My sampling consisted of lentils, veg korma, a mushroom/pea dish, sag paneer, and onion pakoras (prob. my fave item from yesterday). For meat eaters, there was tandoori chicken, a goat curry, and chicken tikka, as mentioned above.

        I'll have to go back for dinner sometime, but it is nice that Chapel Hill now has a potentially good Indian restaurant.

        4 Replies
        1. re: otto_pivner

          I drove by it a few minutes ago. It *looks* very nice. But I have to say that buffets sort of turn me off in an indian restaurant (and the buffet sign is very prominent in the front). I always get the impression that they're using one or two sauces (often sort of gummy and oily seeming) and just mixing them with different things. But I'll definitely try the place with my fingers crossed. I'd really love a good Indian place in town (and Moroccan, and Ethiopian, and ...).

          1. re: LulusMom

            Any chowhounds want to go together? I feel I may be too fussy. This is a great archive of recipes: http://www.tarladalal.com/

            LM you can very nice frozen samosa's "Tandoor" brand from Weaver St or fresh Kerala ones.

            1. re: Rory

              I was surprised to find how good Trader Joes frozen samosas are. I'm trying to teach Lulu about foods from around the world and so I got them for her, and boy, we both love them.

              Thanks for the link - I've been lucky enough to be able to cook a lot of the foods that we can't find around here, but sometimes its just nice to have someone else do the work. I'd love to meet up, but always have to rely on having a babysitter (or convincing LulusDad to stay home) so am not ever sure I can fully commit. But if something like this happened, I'd do my best to join.

              1. re: Rory

                I'd be happy to do lunch with advance notice - I work in Chapel Hill. But what I know about Indian food could be put in a thimble with room left over. :) All I know is that I've liked what I've tried so far. I have purchased an Indian cookbook that has a lot of good info in it, but no time yet to 'digest' it all. :)

          2. I live in Chapel Hill and being Indian know something about the food. I volunteer to go by and take a look at the menu, and if posible, talk with the owner and chef. Then I'll report back as to whether I think they offer enough interesting dishes to make it worth doing a meet up. Sound good? I work at Duke so give me a week to get this done.

            3 Replies
            1. re: bbqme

              Sounds great. I'm also thinking I might drag LulusDad there Wednesday night (date night - thank goodness for sitters). Walking distance, so if it isn't raining that will make it especially appealling. I'll report back if we make it there.

              1. re: LulusMom

                Bbq me; you are the Chowdivinity. Great idea.! Count me in.
                I'll be happy to discuss Indian (really the fab different regions) of Indian food & anything else you want to know from a devoted fan's pov. Both eating out & cooking at home.

                1. re: LulusMom

                  I think we're going to give it a shot this evening. Very irritating the lack of website, but just FYI their phone is 929-6188.

              2. We tried Mint last night and were impressed. Not the best we've ever had, but a nice place and some of the food was top notch. Unfortunately I don't know the names for most of the things we had, so I can't give them to you, but will describe. We started with these onion fritter type things which my husband loved, I thought were just ok. The green sauce that came with both appetizers was lovely, the tamarind sauce a little sweet but fine. My appetizer was potato/lentil cakes and I loved it. Nicely spiced and very tasty. For maiins I had the chicken vindaloo with basmati. I asked for it on the hot side, and was very pleased with it. My husband got a grilled meat from the tandoori section (they have another name for this section but i'm sorry I can't remember it). He said he'd give it a solid B, very good, not great. We were both sort of "eh" about the naan (he ordered both garlic and plain and said he liked the plain better - I only tried the garlic). We will definitely go back - the room is pretty (although could use a little more going on on the walls) and the food was very nicely done. Full bar (yay!). I wasn't crazy about the piped in new agey music, but it wasn't loud or intrusive.

                4 Replies
                1. re: LulusMom

                  bbq me, if you want to do a dinner, you can count on 4. I told my family (parents, sister) all devotees of Indian food and they'd come in a sec for a special dinner.

                  One of the problems with the menu of Mint is the many generic names for dishes. 'Curry chicken' I really hate that, it confirms stereotypes about Indian food....
                  hmm Lulu's Mom: potato/lentil sounds like medhu vadai, I adore them. they are like lil doughnuts and Southern. The green sauce is probably coriander chutney. Side 'sauces' are either chutneys or pickles...vindaloo is Goan and should be pork, nan is just one kind of Indian breat, I love stuffed kulchas and puffy batura.

                  1. re: Rory

                    Yeah, I thought the use of "curry chicken" was a little weird, but figured they must want to appeal to a broad range. My husband's first wife was Indian, and he's been there numerous times, and he is the big naan fan, so thats why he ordered so much of that. I, too, prefer the other bread products. The potato/lentil things weren't really like little donuts (that was more what the fried onion stuff was like) but more like spicy potato pancakes, if that helps at all. And yes, the green sauce was def. cilantro chutney. No pickles served that I saw (I LOVE the spicy pickles) but I may just have missed them. They certainly didn't bring them out with anything.

                    1. re: LulusMom

                      LM;
                      Medhu vadai, lentil donoughts are Southern, my fave. So I'm sure I was wrong;-) It's weird why don't they offer pickles? You can't have an Indian meal without the pickle!

                      1. re: Rory

                        Maybe they do and I just missed it, but I don't think so. I also didn't see any raita (one of Lulu's faves) but maybe that isn't a universal condiment. Do try it Rory, I'd love to know what you think. I may take Lulu for lunch one day next week if I can find the time - or heck, maybe even dinner.

                2. I think this place is great. We've taken out two times. Still no website (posting this in October), which is annoying. The food is definitely a cut above anything in Chapel Hill or RTP. I am not of Indian descent, but have spent about 2 years in India and have eaten my share of dal for a Westerner. I can't wait for my next meal here.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: dpck

                    this is annoying they got rid of our postings, mon or fri is good for me LM, after the 14th..I'll be happy to discuss Indian food with you and Romansperson, Just made a great thoran the other day. And we can discuss northern food.

                    1. re: Rory

                      Since I received exactly nothing about why our posts were removed, I am going to assume the moderators would prefer we make arrangements to meet via private correspondence (liability issues? who knows). I can be reached via the web site/blog in my profile. Click on any of the menu buttons on the main page and then use the webmaster contact link at the bottom when the new page opens. Do not use the one on the main page - it's messed up. I'll fix it as soon as I can tomorrow (it's always something).

                      1. re: romansperson

                        We've emailed both of you, but please see our guidelines for organizing chowdowns:

                        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/36760...

                        Thanks.