Wandered up to Alberta 2 Friday's ago and had dinner at Baraka which touts itself as an Indian restaurant. (Not the Baraka on Division which is Moroccan.)
They say they are Indian but they are about as Indian as a Tiki Bar is Indian. Wait a minute!- the décor IS A TIKI BAR. Complete with Bamboo chairs which, admittedly, were more comfortable than I expected.
The walls are lined with woven mat stuff and grasses. I think they were showing Winged Migration on the HUGE video screens above the bar (which is in the main room). Minus the singing birds I felt I was at the Tiki Bar in Disneyland.
So we sat. And waited. And waited. FINALLY, about 10 min. later we were offered menus. Then 5 SECONDS later a different waitress came and offered to take our order - before I even had a chance to open the menu. The servers were very nice but definitely have bugs to work out.
We ordered samosas for appetizers, my dining companion had the Dosa and I had an Indian dish that I never even heard of while I was in India (I got it because it came with the Raita and Roti so I didn't have to pay extra for them.) And one beer and one gin & tonic.
It took over 10 min to get the samosas- OK, I'll live- but they came out before our drinks??? The server said the bar tender was busy but the place wasn't at full capacity and really- how long does it take to pour a beer or a gin & tonic?
The samosas were Ok. Nothing great. Tasty centers but the dough was chewy and tasted like it was premade/commercal.
My dining companions dosa was folded like a crepe, 3 times- either side folded inward- rather than the traditional in half. Once again the filling was Ok, pretty tasty but the pancake itself needed to be a bit crispier.
My dish turned out to be brown beans w/ some chopped spinach over brown rice. It tasted good at first but the more I ate the more the cardamom stood out and finally it was over powering.
The raita was too sweet - I've never had sweet raita before- and the roti seemed identical to the kind I find at Tao of Tea. I usually found roti a bit greasy or buttery in India but these are dry and I personally dont like the texture or taste of them- others may disagree.
Overall there was very little about this place that seemed remotely Indian- it would be more accurately described as Vegetarian.
None of it really impressed or interested me- the décor, the food.
I'd say go here if you're looking for vegetarian (with some plates having spice overkill) but not if you're looking for Indian.
by Amy Schulman | Calum Franklin is a wizard with pies. The self-proclaimed pastry deviant knows how to weave together...