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[EUGENE] Priya Indian and some Carnitas...

Nick | Feb 23, 200406:44 PM

Came down this weekend and tried a friend's favorite Indian food: Priya in the Santa Clara center over by the Fred Meyer's, etc, off Beltline.

Went to dinner right before they closed and decided to get several things since I was by myself: lamb samosas (2 for $3.25), chilli chicken ($4.99 appetizer), lamb korma ($9.99 ala cart, with rice only).

They start you with some poori and three sauces, a spicy mint sauce, a spicy tomato sauce, and a creamy coconut milk sauce. I liked all three very well.

The samosas had a nicely browned light and flaky crust. The insides were a bit dry and bland, maybe, but not bad. However, the tamarind sauce that came with them was quite tasty.

The chilli chicken was very good. I've had chilli chicken at many places, including a wonderful dive in Chicago, Sizzle India, that was fantastic (and even off the buffet). Though not fantastic, this was a very good version as well. Nice ginger flavor, fiery but flavorful and well-balanced.

The chicken korma was pretty good, though it could have been a little more intensely flavored, imo. The rice wasn't the best. Not bad, but rather small grained for basmati.

I was quite happy to find an Indian food place in Eugene as good as this one.

Met up with my friend the next day for some golf and hit them for lunch buffet, $5.99.

There's not a huge selection at the buffet, but it's not bad. The main dishes they had that day were the chicken tikkia masala, the chilli chicken, the aloo gobi, and the tandoori chicken. The chilli chicken wasn't near as good in the buffet, but still decent enough. It was more a textural issue than a flavor one, although the ginger flavor was muted, too. Everything else was fine, too. Some people may not like it, but I liked the fact that the chicken tikka masala used dark meat and the cartilage and connective tissues were all left in. I choose flavor. Another thing that was nice to see was that some bits were whole in the curry, such as cinnamon sticks and such. Suggests that they're not cheating and actually making the sauces.

The owners are very nice there, as well.

Also went to the carniceria/tienda next to Lupita's Taqueria across from Chao Pra Ya on Blair and 6th or whatever. The carniceria might also be called Lupita's. Probably is. The produce was scary, but the carnitas and chicharron looked excellent. The carnitas were very good and $5.99 a pound. I got a big hunk that was nicely crusty on the outside and moist and tender on the inside. Very good. I went to Lupita's taqueria last time I was down and liked it a lot as well.

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