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May 15, 2009 04:02 PM

good Indian in HOCO/other rest. question

What is a good Indian restaurant in Howard County? We've always gone to Akbar off
Snowden River Pkwy, but wondering if there is a better one? I was thinking about
trying House of India, but saw reviews from 2009 that weren't so good.

Also, we go out to dinner every month with a couple who live in Bethesda. We alternate,
one month in the Bethesda area, one month around Howard County. There are so
many good restaurants in the Bethesda area, what are folks' recommendations
for Howard County when it's our turn?


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  1. I've been to Akbar and liked it but prefer House of India, which is just down in the next shopping center on Snowden. Their lunch buffet can't be beat.

    1. I far prefer House of India. Several visits to Akbar when I first moved to the area really turned me off. HOI is far more friendly, with great food at very fair prices.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mdfoodlover

        Based on the posts, we went to House of India. We all really enjoyed our dinner, food was very good, service was great. My husband and I ordered appetizers, the other couple did not and the kitchen sent out a small plate of complimentary appetizers for them to eat. What a nice touch!!! We will definitely go back, thanks everyone!

      2. It's been years, but there use to be a place called Bombay Peacock Cafe that was better than Akbar. Still around? Still good?

        1. I will third House of India!!

          I have lived for 29 years in the Bethesda/Potomac area, and find that HoCo places give Bethesda a run for the money. Just have to go a bit further a field

          Check out HowChow's blog for HoCo suggestions.

          7 Replies
          1. re: MrsWheatie

            Wow, I have to disagree in a big way. Have eaten at House of India, Akbar, and Bombay Peacock many times, and none are even in the same league as Passage to India in Bethesda.

            1. re: DanielK

              Guess my replies were not clear.

              I was addressing the OP's request for Indian food in HoCo not comparing Bethesda's options for it.

              And the second part of my reply was to address the OPs statement about the number of "good" resturants in Bethesda. The options in HoCo are not clustered in a particular neighborhood.

              1. re: MrsWheatie

                But you implied that you bypassed Bethesda Indian options for House of India, which surprised me, since Passage to India is, IMHO, easily the best Indian in the entire region.

                1. re: DanielK

                  That does sound good. Any dishes to try on the first visit?

                  1. re: HowChowBlog

                    All of them. :-)

                    Pickles, definitely. Scallop appetizer, mussels are unbelievable. Chutny Ni Murgi, Goan Fish Curry, anything with pumpkin, boy, too many to count.

                    One thing to note - they highlight more than just the typical Northern/Southern Indian regions - they have entire menu sections for Eastern and Western Indian specialties as well. Easy to compose a menu crossing many regions, or specialize for a night.

                    Passage to India
                    4931 Cordell Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

            2. re: MrsWheatie

              Whew. I thought DanielK was disagreeing about looking at the blog for suggestions!

              Like the folks above, I really like House of India. The whole fish that I had there was one of the best meals that I have ordered in a long time.

              I'm also a real fan of Mango Grove at Dobbin Road and Rte 175. It's vegetarian, so that is great if you have someone who limits their diet. But the southern Indian food makes for a unique experience for anyone. The dosas are just terrific. The mango lassi is my wife's favorite. I would also order the jackfruit special any time that you they offer it. It's unripe jackfruit cooked as a savory curry -- in the way that unripe plantains are used for non-sweet dishes.

              1. re: HowChowBlog

                Yes - forgot about Mango Grove. They actually had a stand in the Mall for about 10 minutes some years back.

                HCB - I'm down with the blog. Hope you have a chance to make it to Bethesda some day to try Passage to India.

            3. On the "other restaurants" question, there are some ideas on the blog. You can also search Chowhound for several past strings where people offered their opinions. The great part of Chowhound is getting advice from several people.

              This is my advice:

              Great, casual restaurants: Cuban at Cuba de Ayer in Burtonsville, Thai at Bangkok Delight in Columbia, Chinese at Jesse Wong's Asean Bistro, burgers and more at Victoria Gastro Pub, and sushi/Japanese at Sushi King or Sushi Sono in Columbia (although other people talk up Hanamura).

              Great food, although very casual: Kabobs, bread and appetizers (although with counter service, not waiters) at Maiwand Kabob in Columbia or Vietnamese at An Loi in Columbia. (If you go to Maiwand, have dessert at the Rita's across the parking lot.)

              Great meals although a little more expensive than the others: Iron Bridge Wine Company in Columbia.

              Unique vegetarian (if you're into that kind of thing): Great Sage in Clarksville.

              A little farther north, but great dinners: Korean at Bethany Seafood or Shin Chon Garden in Ellicott City.

              A few more ideas -- just to prove that HoCo isn't Siberia even if it isn't Bethesda: Mexican at El Azteca in Clarksville or La Palapa Too in Laurel (very convenient from Rte 29), great beers and nice Southwestern food at Frisco Grille, . . . . . . .