Saturday, September 20, 2014

Saturday dining: Flavor of India

Rating:

I had forgotten how much I love Indian food until tonight.  It's been quite awhile since I've had good Indian food.  My sister and I have the house to ourselves this weekend, so I suggested that we go out to eat.  She had been wanting to go out for Indian food for awhile, so we decided to go there tonight.

I did not dress up for this night.  I was actually feeling a little down, and when I'm feeling down, I don't like putting in the effort to look nice.  I think it is definitely related to my introversion.  Going out and getting attention by looking nice can be very overstimulating and stressful, so when I'm not feeling my best, I have to counteract the stress I'm already feeling by putting less effort into other things, such as looking nice.

Not to say I looked terrible.  I just wore very casual clothes and very little make-up.


Flavor of India is located in Oro Valley, north of Tucson.  I've actually been here several times.  Its location seems a little odd.  It's not at all easy to see if you're just driving past, and if you do happen to see it, figuring out how to get into the area can be tricky.  In fact, I think the only reason we discovered this place was because we loved Indian food and did an Internet search for Indian restaurants close to us some years ago.

My sister, Saydee, and I entered the restaurant and were quickly seated at a table.  The decor and atmosphere is not particularly "Indian."  There are some pictures and Indian music playing, and the bussers are wearing what look like traditional Indian garb, but otherwise, it looks fairly, well, normal, for lack of a better word (I'm no poet!).



Although it is not a "fancy" restaurant, they certainly try to make it look nice with their table set-ups, and the servers are certainly well-dressed and polite.


To begin our meal, we were presented with what I guess could be called the Indian equivalent to getting chips and salsa at the beginning of a meal in Mexican restaurant.  I believe it is called papadum, a thin, crunchy, chip-type...thing.  It is served with three different dips that I do not know the names of.  The brown dips were kind of fruity, the green dip was somewhat minty.  I didn't really like any of them and preferred to just eat the papadum plain, although to be honest, it's kind of bland.  It's certainly not worth filling up on.


Saydee and I both ordered mango lassis which is a creamy drink made with mango, yogurt, and water.  I prefer regular mango juice, to be honest, but the mango lassi is actually quite good, too!



For my meal, I wanted to try something a bit different.  I already knew that lamb was not my favorite meat from my experience at Pastiche, so I did not feel the need to try that again.  I also knew that I did not like seafood, so none of the sea food dishes were going to cut it for me.  When the server came around, I tried my best at speaking Indian when ordering.  He said I said it all right, haha.  I ordered the aloo naan, which is flatbread with potato and spices inside, and the murgh makhani, which is chicken in a butter and tomato curry.  I usually get chicken masala and garlic naan, so this was only going to be a little different, but I'm one of those people that fear change.  D:  I find great comfort in familiarity, but for the sake of this blog, I'm trying new things to challenge myself and hopefully go beyond what my introversion has allowed me in the past.

Of course, I must take small steps.  Best not to shock myself!

Oh, and I ordered mild...I don't like how spicy food burns my taste buds!  I want to taste my food!

Our food came rather quickly, and it looked great.




We both eagerly tucked in, and it was even better than I imagined it would be.  A perfect amount of flavor and even texture in every bite.  I'm usually a small eater, but I can somehow manage to eat quite a bit when the food is really good, and this was so good that I ate almost everything, and that is saying something since there was a lot to begin with!

At the end of of our meal, the service was a little slow for some reason.  It took a long time to get our check.  Luckily, we were in no hurry.

While the food is fantastic, the atmosphere and service was nothing extraordinary, just good enough.  I can't think of any reason to go besides the food.  For that reason, I can only give the restaurant four out of five peridots, but I would definitely recommend it to anyone and everyone.  If you want good food, it's here!  I am sure I will be back here, perhaps sooner than I think.  :)

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