You may have seen the word ‘chaat’ before, and if you are familiar with the Indian term, then you know you are blessed. Chaat refers to the little snacks often served roadside in stalls or food carts. Typically a vendor will specialize in one type of chaat, often starting with pieces of dough and vegetables. Almost all certainly vegetarian or vegan in nature. One of the more popular places in India to find chaat is along the boardwalk at Chowpatty beach in Mumbai, India. Here you will find many many shrines to the Hindu gods, and is the place of one of the largest Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. There are also plenty of chaat stalls to be found. Think of chaat as more of recreation and celebration than of fine dining. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Irving
Peru is the epicenter for much that we enjoy today. The simple potato has its origins to the Andes and nearly every potato found worldwide can be traced back to Peru. The humble peanut made its way to Africa via the Spaniards, and vast variety of corn stems from the region. One variety of corn is an inedible purple kernel that the natives to Peru make into a sweet drink called chicha morada which can be found at a local restaurant, El Tesoro del Inca.
We stopped into El Tesoro recently after being tipped off to its whereabouts. It sounds so secretive, but when you check the restaurant out you will see what we mean. It is a bit hidden in a small shopping center off Beltline in Irving. If you are not paying much attention you will miss the spot altogether. Continue reading
With a menu full of interesting items such as samosas, chicken lollipops and spring rolls as appetizers, and Korma Masala and Vindaloo sauces with your choice of meats or vegetables, Masala Wok is more than just a fast casual restaurant serving flavors from Asia, including India and China, it is a fine repast for a quick lunch or dinner on the run. Be mindful, these are not the complex recipes of more fine dining establishments, but the quick outlets serve a perfect need for those with a hankering for something different than a burger and fries.
On a recent visit we devoured platefuls of dishes inspired by both Indian and Chinese descent. Masala Wok makes a perfectly fine Tikka Masala, that rich tomato and yogurt sauce that is slightly spicy with flavors of masala and coriander. We also ordered the Butter Chicken with its tomato gravy made with fresh tomato, garlic, cardamom and plenty of butter to supplement the richness of the dish. Everything can be kicked up if asked, or by adding the provided chili sauces. Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
Chaat Café is billed as a fresh and casual Indian fast food restaurant, but there is absolutely no resemblance to what you might consider fast food. The food is served in the same relative time as any other restaurant, and is hand-made to order with precision and care. The concept is a national chain, but each location has a local flair. Since Irving has a tremendous Indian population, it is very popular with the locals.
by Andrew Chalk
Irving is one of the two top destinations in the Dallas area for Indian food (the other being Plano). However, most establishments are content to survive on a combination of a lunchtime steam table and an à la carte evening menu constructed around stereotypical Indian dishes (much as hoards of Italian neighborhood restaurants turn out an endless repertoire of “me-too” red sauce dishes).
As much as I love the bargain that is the Indian lunch buffet and the favorites on the stereotypical Indian menu, my greatest excitement is engendered by the discovery of a restaurant doing something new, even bordering on ambitious. Continue reading
by Andrew Chalk
Sfuzzi’s has gone and the Irving location has become Table & Tavern, a conceptual mash-up of English pub and cozy club room restaurant. The “tavern” part is actually three bars and two patios serving up cocktails built around Texas spirits, craft beers from Peticolas, Deep Ellum, Franconia, Real Ale and Brooklyn Brewery, and a predominantly California wine list (just two Texas wines are listed among the 42 selections) priced at about 3x retail. Thrice weekly there is live music. Although the full menu is available in the bar, most bar patrons order from the separate bar menu consisting of snacks. Private dining rooms are available as well. All in, the 300-seat establishment creates a lot of possibilities.
The “table” part is the separate dining area, notable for its dark-paneled walls. It creates a clubby, cosy feel that almost harks back to an earlier era. I recommend the comfortable booths away from the trafficked routes if its privacy and comfort that you want. Continue reading
A recent visit to Strokers on Harry Hines netted us a really good char-grilled burger, a pretty tasty Cuban sandwich (aptly named the Mark Cuban), and a tour through the nearly 2-acre facility. It was a searing hot Sunday afternoon when we met with Strokers owner Rick Fairless who guided us across the biker’s dream campus, taking us into the secret labyrinth’s where he has a crew at various stages of customizing insanely cool motorcycles. It was there he shared his plan to take over the Big State Drug, removing the apothecary portion of the historic 1948 building, and building around the 50’s era soda fountain. Continue reading