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May 18, 2011 06:53 PM

New Bangladeshi place in Arlington

Stopped by the new Deshi Spice on Lee Highway and George Mason, in the same strip as Saran, last night. Totally empty and when we asked the ?owner? to turn down the TV, he said he was watching it! Other than that, however, he was extremely nice, helpful and solicitous. Most of the dinner menu is typical Indian; we were told that there are more Bangladeshi specialties on the lunch buffet. We had chotpotri (spelling?), which was basically soggy chat with rather flavorless tamarind sauce, and then really good dal palak, mediocre chicken jalzeeri (spelling?), good tandoori paratha and good garlic naan. I had a made-to-order lassi with just a bit of sugar, the way I ordered it, and we had dessert of ramsalai on the house. Definitely a place to go back to.

Sorry for my spelling!

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  1. Were those items form the buffet?

    1. Yet another interesting place that I don't have any hope of getting my fullsize van into the parking area of...

      2 Replies
      1. re: wayne keyser

        wayne, you might be able to park right behind the place and go in through the back entrance.

        but if they have blaring tvs, i am not anxious to go there. plus the acoustics in that place are horrible. yes, call me curmudgeon, but that's how i roll.

        1. re: alkapal

          Oh, it wasn't really blaring. Just that the restaurant was empty and we had IMPORTANT things to discuss :). The setting was on the fancy side, with tablecloths even! And no, Steve, they don't have the buffet at night.

      2. This place is pretty close to my house and I'm quite curious to try it. Bangladeshi isn't thought of in S. Asia as a grand cuisine by any means though Bangladeshi cooks are very common in Indian restaurants the world over, it turns out they mostly come from an area of Bangladesh called Sylhet. Thanks for your report, i look forward to trying it and reporting back.

        2 Replies
        1. re: bob_s

          I too live quite close to this restaurant and my husband and I have been quite curious about Yorktown BIstro's replacement. Is the food spicier than "regular" Indian food? I find Persian food to be too spicy for me (I'm a wimp in that sense), and I was wondering how Bangledeshi food compares. What are the prices like? Thanks for the report. I'm sure we'll get around to checking this place out at some point, but it usually takes us awhile to break out of our restaurant ruts!

          1. we went sunday night, and liked the starters we had, shammi kabob and the eggplant, and a puri to eat them with. puri was greasy, and that is a no go. that means they cooked it in oil that was not hot enough. puri is an art. next time we will order samosas. they looked good.

            the problem with the eggplant dish is that it had no tomato, which it should. the server offered to "fix" it, but we said don't bother. also, there were lots of seeds, so i suspect they used a larger, older eggplant. they didn't roast it, i think -- there was no charry scent as if it had been cooked in a tandoor. it wasn't cooked through to the level it should have been. all that aside, we liked the spicing, and the finely minced red onion in it. we'd order it again, but ensure that they used the tomato and removed the coarse seeds.

            shammi kabob was almost a meat paste patty (the meat was so finely ground), but well-seasoned. an order of shammi kabob with some naan would make a nice sandwich. (oddly, there was no sauce offered for anything, though later i did ask if they had any sauce, and he brought what seemed like a watered down coriander/mint chutney).

            the naan was meh. ok, but no raves.

            the tehari (a sunday special) was $12.99 and not worth it. it was mostly rice (and not even well-prepared basmati) that was supposed to include saffron in the whole dish, but no saffron detected. the dish had weirdly cut small pieces of beef "on the bone" (read:" Mostly Bone") in the rice. it had very few and really thinly cut onions that had been long-grilled to caramelize.

            my seekh kabob was redolent of cinnamon and clove, but was chewier than the superior kabobs at ravi kabob. at $8.99, i think the ravi kabob (per ounce) is the same price, or perhaps even cheaper (but i haven't had ravi lately to know the kabob's current price).

            he brought some chick peas, which were so-so. seemed a bit undercooked as well. very bland, and in no way close to the great chole they have at ravi.

            the tv was not loud.

            the decor was better than i expected after that horrible yorktown bistro. clean. real tableclothes. very friendly service. ladies bathroom needed TP in EVERY SINGLE STALL (ladies, tell me if you think the ultra modern and pricy sinks and faucets in the ladies' room are so incongruent with everything else in the whole place). it was remedied when i asked for some, and the guy gave me one roll. no women worked there, but it seemed like only three guys were in the kitchen and serving. hey fellas, take care of things!

            mr. alka said he'd give deshi spice another shot, get something different. me, too; i'll give it another try.

            ps, before we ended up in deshi spice we had gone down the strip to check out menus. we went into the little curry place. it was HORRIBLE and we walked out because the lady at the counter wouldn't even acknowledge mr. alka was trying to get her attention to order -- like for 10 minutes. never again!

            2 Replies
            1. re: alkapal

              Do they have seafood on their menu? I'm thinking that because Bengali food is known for its seafood dishes, they might do a better job on those than on what appeared to be the common North Indian dishes you ordered.

              1. re: OldSchool

                mr. alka remarked that we have to get their fish….that is their forté, apparently, they have four kinds of fish….and some various preps. one takes ½ hour, but there are other preps.