i'm not an expert on Indian food so those are, are forwarned.
I want to report a really good meal at India Palace last night (23 Union Square, at the big messy intersection of Bow, Washington, and Somerville Ave)...
Non-adventurous-food-eater-friend arrives this evening, so I figured, one last regular meal someplace I'd never been before, prior to the American Fare :)
I'll get to the food in a sec. The service really stood out here. Unless I totally missed an ironic joke on me, my friend and I - not dressed in finery and not looking particularly important or difficult - were treated really, really well. The order was taken patiently and questions answered (that's not often happened in an Indian restaurant, for me), my water glass was never less than half full, plates were taken when they should have been, people smiled and thanked us for coming.
Reviews I checked discussed the room - it's nicely dressed, not over the top but uses warm reds and yellows effectively. They've also integrated a takeout and delivery operation that doesn't intrude on the dining space in an appreciable way. It's comfortable, no tackiness. The room and staff are well dressed, definitely at the top end for this zone, not counting the Independent.. the customers, not so much, just college comfort-wear and "youhungry?let'sgetsomefood-wear. Welcome to Union Square. That's not a complaint.
Two crispy pieces of chapati(?) appeared first, and the sauces that would remain for the rest of the meal.
I wanted to taste lots of things, so I pounced on the "Palace Special Dinner" (no doubt they would prefer to prepare this for two, but my friend didn't want all that much and I really did)... this was a good tour, mulligatawny soup and a samosa first... then the rest of the meal - saag, two tandoori chicken pieces, a pile of puffy naan, plenty of saffron rice, lamb, raita, and one gulab jamun ball. All in all, the food was great, not in a "wow I never tasted anything like that before" but just that it was a really solid wall of flavors and textures, lots of nice things going on.
My friend had chicken vindaloo, also good, actually spicy as promised on the menu. How often does that happen?
I learned *after* dinner that by default most dishes are prepared in MILD mode... ask when ordering to punch it up.
Wines seem to be well priced, $15 to $21 for bottles with familiar names.
Lunch prices around $5.95 for entrees pretty much across the board and a $6.95 buffet. Dinner portions, ca. $12.95. The palace dinner was a good buy at $16 and enough left to take home for a complete meal the next day.
The dinners for two and four include upgrades (e.g. shrimp dishes) and are not just a double dip of the "dinner for 1". Those would be fun to try with a group... more tastes.
My only disappointments were that they'd folded up the outside tables on a warm night (it was late and the place was not busy), and one piece of gulab jamun rather than two. Minor trifles.
And it's just around the corner from Sherman, for coffee and a cookie afteward.