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Tarka

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ieathereforeiam May 23, 2012 08:51 PM

I didn't see a separate posting for this place on the board. This surprises me. I've eaten at the one off Brodie a couple of times and one just opened near my neighborhood (Northcross Mall).

This place is great. I've never been a Clay Pit fan, or even a huge seeker of Indian food. This place feels right to me though. tender proteins served in spicy flavorful sauces with basmati rice and naan. They have loads of veggie options that don't feel like some sort of compromise. Best of all, the "spicy" option is actually spicy. It's that back of your throat slow build spice that you don't really get with most Mexican or Asian foods.

Today we had four things. a chicken marsala, lamb korma, saag aloo (potato and spinach) and a samosa chaat starter. total cost w/ two ice teas was $36. I took home enough for 1 full serving, which reheated well for dinner.

the starter was maybe the most lackluster of the gang, but still not bad and only a few bucks. Everything else had its own unique flavor and I would order again in a heartbeat.

Food took less than ten minutes to come out and the room is inviting, warm and well lit. Service was cheerful. It being opening day the owners where on hand so I'm sure that always helps. However, the staff was able to make recommendations and had obviously tasted a lot of the menu.

Of course it's not good to base an entire opinion (good or bad) off of a first visit on opening day. But they are trying to be a big chain and this experience mirrored the ones i had down south months ago.

Between Tarka, Hopdoddy, Chens, Phonatic, Bartletts and Dos Batos and then a little further down the NATY with Michi Ramen- Anderson has grown up a lot in the last year. Burnet road, lamar and airport are all coming along nicely as well, but I'll put the affordable food nexus on Anderson up against any square block on south lamar or congress right now.

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    Rice Checks RE: ieathereforeiam May 24, 2012 07:14 AM

    Thanks for the report. I am verrrry excited this place opened up. I read ages ago that they were gonna open up there, and then nothing until I saw a mention that they had opened up yesterday. Are they on the Which Wich side of the mall, or the Dos Batos side of the mall?

    This is my neighborhood as well. If their samosas are good, I might be there more than once a week.

    Everything about that reboot of Northcross mall, except for the Walmart, has been above average.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Rice Checks
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      brentwood RE: Rice Checks May 24, 2012 02:02 PM

      It's around the corner from Dos Batos & Elevation, facing the Conn's.

    2. r
      rasputina RE: ieathereforeiam May 24, 2012 08:57 AM

      We have eaten at the Brodie location a few times and my husband has gone their for lunch since it's close to his work. It's good and fast and hits the spot when I am too lazy to cook at home. But my homemade is better IMO lol.

      1. tdombrow RE: ieathereforeiam May 24, 2012 12:40 PM

        This was mine and my husbands first experience with "Indian" food and now we can't get enough. I have no idea how authentic the place is, but I don't care. It's super tasty. We also go to Masala Wok on occasion but merely due to location and the fact that they place that awesome Indian music video channel. My choice is definitely Tarka though

        1. dinaofdoom RE: ieathereforeiam May 24, 2012 01:26 PM

          it's pretty good stuff. i've only eaten at the location in the ikea plaza.
          the "naan-inis" (paninis made with naan) are a great "gateway" item for people who don't like curry, or don't think they like indian food.

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            addlepated RE: ieathereforeiam May 24, 2012 08:47 PM

            Be warned - my experience at the one on Brodie is that asking for NO cilantro actually nets you EXTRA cilantro. Blargh! This has happened to me twice, after which I decided that Tarka was one of those only-if-I'm-dying-of-hunger-and-nothing-else-in-Austin-is-open type places.

            2 Replies
            1. re: addlepated
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              Mamayumyum RE: addlepated Aug 5, 2012 08:45 PM

              I do not agree with addlepated, and I wonder if the cilantro problem happened at a super busy time for them? I have been getting take out since they opened and never had a problem except maybe one time. Talk to the manager, and I'm sure they can fix it.

              1. re: Mamayumyum
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                addlepated RE: Mamayumyum Aug 6, 2012 03:07 PM

                When you get take-out food, it's pretty hard to fix problems like this. Hungry kids make another 30+ minute wait for dinner a very unattractive prospect. Due to the two times we got so much cilantro after specifically asking for none (and SEEING it on the receipt - "No cilantro") - we have not been back since. And no, it was not particularly busy when we went.

                Sucks to be one of those with the mutant cilantro-tastes-like-soap gene, especially in a region that reveres the devilweed!

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              Rice Checks RE: ieathereforeiam May 25, 2012 03:26 PM

              I went there for lunch on Thursday. I am by no means an expert on Indian food, but it was quite good. The samosa's were incredible. They came with "mint-tamarind-yogurt chutney" and I prefer plain ol' raita, usually, but I still thought they were as good as the other places around Burnet/Anderson.I had the chicken tikka masala, medium heat. Not the most adventurous choice, but a good place to start. To me, there was no heat whatsoever. Maybe they gave me the mild, I don't know. Oh... yeah, you can choose your level of heat. But it was tomato-ey. Could've had more chicken, but I didn't feel cheated. Got the Rasmalai for dessert. They were a little small, but quite good. All this, with a root beer, cost just over 17 bucks. So, not dirt cheap. They have a lot of choices on the menu, including vegetarian options. Indian sodas, as well as coke and the like. My choices were a little pedestrian, but I would have no trouble suggesting this to people jonesing for a little Indian, or to take home.

              1. slowcoooked RE: ieathereforeiam May 27, 2012 04:35 PM

                i love Bartlett's / Houston's for it's consistently solid food. The brussels are often dressed with a citrus anchovy sauce that for my tastes beat out La Condessa's wonderful sprouts. A great low carb meal is the fish o' the day and those sprouts. really great. I agree ieat, it's a nice scene on Anderson in our hood.

                1. m
                  Mamayumyum RE: ieathereforeiam Aug 5, 2012 08:42 PM

                  Hooray hooray for Tarka on Brodie Lane! My husband and I moved to Austin about three years ago from NYC and we were worried about finding a good Indian place that would satisfy our Friday night Indian fix. Tarka rivals (and sometimes it tastes even better) than all of our old haunts in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The ingredients taste fresh and are lovingly prepared. Our favorites are tikka masala, malai kofta, lamb biryani and the samosas. the raita is good too.

                  It's hard to find good naan here, but Tarka is pretty good. A bit thin and limp for my taste. Could be thicker but still be fluffy and soft. I'm not sure of they have the best oven for this, but don't know because I've never checked it out.

                  Chicken kebab dish is a bit dry most times and their "naninis" leave something to be desired. But stick to the above dishes and you will not be disappointed.

                  The only dish I miss from NYC is "aloo papri" (a snacky appetizer of potatoes, chickpeas and tangy yogurt raita). Tarka - if you are listening, would you please add this to your menu?

                  1. slowcoooked RE: ieathereforeiam Aug 6, 2012 06:02 AM

                    I've not been to tarka but Asiana on Ben White and 35 south bound is hands down the best indian food in Austin that many of us have found. We went yesterday for lunch and found mushroom chettinad and a chicken curry dish that tasted just like the chicken curry made for me years ago in graduate school many a meal by my Indian boss' wife. mango lasso ice-cream, lovely rice pudding, and the best gulab jamun (warm even) we've had. Great naan. This place has stayed rock solid since it's opening.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: slowcoooked
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                      chrisdds98 RE: slowcoooked Aug 7, 2012 11:06 PM

                      I think I must have seen you there that sunday. as a frequent diner I do love their food but I've definitely had better naan and gulab jamun. everything else is fantastic though. the first time I had their bread pudding I fell in love!

                      1. re: chrisdds98
                        slowcoooked RE: chrisdds98 Aug 8, 2012 05:37 AM

                        perhaps! bald dude smiling with a lovely brunette and a capsicum-seared tongue from the goat biryani.

                        1. re: chrisdds98
                          hlk RE: chrisdds98 Aug 8, 2012 02:10 PM

                          Agreed on Asiana. The bread is a bit weak, but everything else I've had there has been the best Indian food I've eaten in Austin. I just had left over chicken korma and dal makhani from Asiana for lunch. Spicy and good.

                        2. re: slowcoooked
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                          Rptrane RE: slowcoooked Aug 8, 2012 04:29 AM

                          I am a fan of Chola in Round Rock, really solid food. Even the vegeterian options are very tasty.

                          1. re: Rptrane
                            slowcoooked RE: Rptrane Aug 8, 2012 05:37 AM

                            Actually Asiana is owned by a former owner / partner of Chola. They just bring the heat on most of their dishes southern style.

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