This was my first time to eat at this restaurant and I paid for my meal.
Run down of Lal Qila:
Atmosphere: Nicely decorated, new and clean. Definitely much better than Al Markaz. It has enough room for probably 300 or so people.
Menu: Nice, bright and has all of the Pakistani hits. It is also the first time I have seen Charga on the menu since a Pakistani chef in Lewisville had a small place. Over all the menu price for single items are in line with Al Markaz. Al Markaz has a lunch deal that is better but you get two terrible options and one good option out of three. The naan is on par at both places. I could discern no difference between the two although my dining companion said Lal Qila had a bit sweeter dough.
Dishes: Out of the two we had I prefer the Sabri Nihari (Nehari) aka Chicgao Style Nihari. When the dish arrives at your table to the typical American it doesn’t look like enough food. After sharing a quarter to half of it I can say it is definitely enough with one naan. The gravy was thick, spicy and not greasy. The beef was cooked to a perfect tenderness and texture, think roast beef drowned in a spiced gravy. The condiments thrown in just before service were fresh, crisp and flavorful. My dinign companion had the Chicken Bihari, which was still moist for a grilled item. The Bihari had a nice marinade and came covered in minced cilantro. Grilled items have to be extremely spectacular for me to get really excited about them. I did happen to prefer the bihari at Lal Qila over Al Markaz though. The condiments (not sure what the dish is called) with the onions, carrots, cilantro, limes and ginger were all presented and tasted better (fresher) than Al Markaz. Both of the sauces Brown Raita (Tamarind) and Green Raita (Cilantro) were very fresh and both had quite a punch of heat from fresh peppers (jalapeno?).
Overall: I prefer Lal Qila and would definitely recommend it. I have been leery about recommending Al Markaz because of the amount of grease/ghee in their dishes.