Punjabi Tadka in Arlington -- Reserved Rave
Mr. Swank and I opted to do takeout from here tonight (they also have free delivery in the Arl-Medford area, which is a nice option).
The prices are a mite lower than at Punjab across the street on Mass Ave, and the takeout service seems more efficient --- they quoted us a 20 minute wait as opposed to the typical 50 minutes at Punjab. They were also much friendlier over the phone.
Mr. Swank ordered lamb vindaloo (his litmus test for all Indian restaurants). Also ordered garlic naan. Basmati rice came complimentary. I opted for goat korma, a milder, richer sauce with almonds.
Also got an order of vegetable samosas.
The samosas were a bit sweet and chewy, more like pastries than savory appetizers. They were very good, but not as hot and crispy as I'd like.
Goat Korma was creamy and rich, as promised, with large chunks of slivered almonds. The sauce wasn't particularly complex; it was more comforting.
Mr. Swank pronounced his vindaloo "sweet," and I agreed. It was a spicy sauce, but sweetened the way General Tsao's chicken might be sweetened -- we detected a hint of spice, but it was clearly glossed over to appeal to more timid palates. That said, it was quite tasty -- just not "authentic" as compared with our other favorites like Pongol or Maharaja in HSQ.
Chopped onion and tamarind chutneys were good.
In all, about 5-7 bucks cheaper than Punjab near our house
I'd go here again, but probably with a group of people who aren't hardcore Indian-food lovers. It was definitely Americanized Indian, tasty for what it was, but not adventurous.
Bonus points for affable service.
--edited for hasty spelling