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Another Samar review

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So my SO and I, New Orleanians in Dallas for the weekend, headed out to Samar after reading the positive reviews on this board. Overall a good experience. We arrived about 6:30ish and expected a short wait. The cocktails at the bar (margaritas with Patron subbed for the house tequila) were decent. Upon being seated, our server was pretty friendly and explained the dishes well. I anticipated, correctly, that he would suggest we order more than we would ever eat. 5 dishes per person would have been ridiculous. We ordered the naan with the 3 dips, butter chicken, veggie samosas, the 3-cone sampler (some type of bean or potato in each), and an additional order of naan, the goat cheese and spinach variety. They aren't shy about telling you that you need to order everything at once. So if your plan is to order a dish or two, then order a couple more after that, forget it.

The butter chicken wasn't spicy, but very tasty. The samosas were awesome, but I'm sure that's partly due to the fact that they were fried. Delish! Loved the trio of dips, very generous portions for those. the naan was tasty too, didn't get too much goat cheese from the goat cheese and spinach naan, but it was good nonetheless. The cone sampler was awful. After taking one bite of each we couldn't eat any more. I sort of thought the server might ask if we didn't like it or something, but they just took it away. A second margarita, clearly mixed by a different bartender, was interesting, perhaps had chili powder added to it? Something strange indeed, not sure still if we really enjoyed it or not, but we drank it. Even with the cone fail, we had no room for dessert.

I would recommend arriving there on a Saturday no later than 7:00 - by the time we left at 8, the wait was an hour and a half. I can see why - no complaints with the service, the food was extremely reasonably priced, and for the most part, pretty tasty. I would probably come back next time I'm in Dallas.

One place I can't wait to go back to is Local, another rec I received from this board. We ate there on Friday night and it was spectacular. Really cute place with an outstanding menu and the cocktails were great. It was better that Samar, but probably not fair to compare the two since the price difference is so great.

Thanks for the recs on this board!

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Samad Cafe
2706 Manor Way, Dallas, TX 75235

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  1. The wrong restaurant is linked. Glad you enjoyed it. 5 dishes is a lot. I recently did four and was very hungry. Left stuffed.

    1. I agree that the butter chicken could use more heat. Honestly found most of their Indian dishes kind of lacking in the spice department.

      Next time make sure you get the mussels. Probably the best dish on the entire menu.

      Guessing the "3 cones" is in reference to the new tres vasos? Would be pretty disappointing if you did not like the 3 ice cream cone (gum mastic/pistachio/rose) sampler, that's another amazing dish!

      Anyway, they've recently changed the vasos and I hate to say it (especially to DallasDude) but I'm not a fan of the two revisions. The "center vaso" with serrano ham is a big favorite and stayed the same. The two new ones are: vanilla scented potato, carnitas, carmalized apples and lemon air, the other has tomato gelee with an avocado mousse topped with tempura shrimp

      The older glasses with ruby red grapefruit and the pumpkin can be seen here: scroll down/use ctrl+f to get to Samar
      http://www.madewithair.com/?p=14

      On the plus side though those chiles with the sea salt are pretty addicting, quite easy to eat.

      6 Replies
      1. re: air

        Actually I got a little bored and messed with the UI. Click on #2 !

        1. re: air

          interesting - I didn't know that they had altered the vasos. I've heard your perspective on the Indian food mirrored by others... here's my take: I view the Indian dishes at Samar as less aggressively spiced, more balanced and (if you will) more "elegant" implementations of standard Indian spice combinations. Cumin, cardamom, coriander, star anise, chilis, etc are delicious together - but, in my opinion, they don't always need to club you over the head the way that 'standard' Indian food does. And, by mediating the intensity (but not the flavors) the food is less likely to overpower the other cuisines. Incidentally, their lamb curry with poha(?) croquette is a more typical implementation - rich and spicy, and quite delicious.

          1. re: gavlist

            could those cones maybe be the "Papadum Jugalbandhi"? cutting and pasting from the menu: "Cone Shaped Papadum Sampler 1. House-Made Mung Sprouts with Tomatoes, 2. Spiced Potatoes, Peas and Pomegranates, 3. Green Garbanzo Chaat with Micro Cilantro"
            i ordered it once thinking it would be good but ... i thought wrong

            1. re: teegee

              agreed. those sucked, despite the moderately clever presentation.

              1. re: gavlist

                teegee and gavlist - YES, those were it. I thought one of them might be good, but all of them were gross, gross, gross, taste-wise and texturally as well - it made me wonder if anyone at all tasted them before putting them out??? Yech.

                1. re: pizzajunkie

                  I've spoken with people who quite liked them... so I think that the flavor and texture profiles were intentional. Just not to our liking.