Punjabi Tadka Arlington
Punjabi Tadka in Arlington opened this week so I decided to give them a try for lunch today.
You get one piece of Papad to munch on while waiting for your food. The Onion Chutney was very good, not as spicy as most places but very tasty.
Went with my old favorite, Chicken Saag and the chicken was tender and moist, I would have liked the spinach a bit more "runny" but it was very flavorful. Ordered it medium and it was on the mild side. Prices are comparable to Punjab up the street but no soup or linen napkins but a portion that could have feed two people. Good value for the money and very pleasant service, but I was also the only customer in the place. The tableware was very sleek and modern.
They also offer a lunch Thali that I can't wait to try, vegetarian $9.95 and meat $10.95 and one more with a Samosa added (I think) for $11.95 and also the same in Tiffin to go version, $7.95 and 8.95 respectively. The full menu looks pretty standard including Dosas. The interior looks pretty much the same, repainted and new carpets.
444 Mass Ave, Arlington 02474
We'll have to try to for take-out.. I am surprised that they opened here with Punjab being well liked and long established 75 yards up the road..
My wife and I just went there for lunch and really lked it. We shared 2 thali trays, the veg and non veg and got a nice sampling of tandoori chicken, lamb curry, saag paneer, dal, channa masala, basmati rice, and a LOT of naan. The curries had more of a pronounced tomato flavor than I've typically had...very nice. Not a lot of marinade on the tandoori chicken, but hot and moist and nicely flavored. Went to the salt shaker a few times on the lamb but nicely cooked.
Everything tasted really fresh and the service was quick, attentive and quite friendly. The chutneys were really nice though the tamarind was quite sweet. Coriander/mint and onion were really fresh and delicious. Prices seem quite reasonable and the main menu looks really nice. I'm planning to be a regular here, I hope they keep this level of performance and succeed in this seemingly unlucky space.
Went back to try a Thali.
This does qualify as a Thali according to Wikipedia even if I prefer the more traditional one with soup, chutney and dessert added. However, this was really good, chickpeas, lentils and spinach with plenty of basmati rice. Everything was piping hot and very flavorful, only complaint was that the naan was undercooked in the middle. Not really a problem since there was plenty of food. Got two pieces of Papad today. This is probably three of my favorite Indian vegetarian dishes so I was happy.
The website is (sort of) up. http://www.punjabitadkaarlington.net/
Decided to see if the served lunch on Holiday and lucky for me they did.
I had seen other pople order this and I couldn't wait to try it. This is the Non-Vegetarian Thali on the lunch menu. Lamb Curry, tender lamb and the portion was big enough for a meal in itself. Tandoori chicken was nicely marinated and really juicy and tender and cooked on the bone. Dal Makhani was really good as well. The Seekh Kabab contained ground lamb, chopped onions and spices and was tasty and moist. Raita was included but left untouched, don't like yogurt in any form. Rice was again perfectly cooked and so was the Naan.
Since Punjab in Arlington doesn't serve from the lunch menu on anything resembling a holiday but Punjabi Tadka up the street does, the choice of Indian fare was easy.
Ordered the Aloo Palak and for something that was described as Potatoes cooked with chopped spinach there was a minuscule amount of potatoes in the dish. Four small pieces were all that I found. The dish itself was bland and slightly sweet but a good dollop of the Onion Chutney balanced out the dish nicely.