Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Punjabi Tandoor

I’ve been looking and looking for a good Indian place in this area. So far, no such luck. I know, there is some decent Indian in San Diego, but I’m looking for something more like the amazing East Coast Indian that I used to enjoy on a regular basis. Don’t get huffy West Coast, you have the East on most other South Asian cuisines – sushi, Thai, Vietnamese, all of those are better out here. And then there’s the amazing selection of Mexican food. And I have to say, since Baltimore has no pizza scene whatsoever, save for Matthew’s, the many great pizza places out here are a real treat!


I had lamented the lack of good Indian food far and wide, and was introduced to Punjabi Tandoor by a co-worker. Not located in a place where you would think to get amazing Indian food, Punjabi Tandoor is tucked into a business park on Activity Road near Miramar Air Base. In fact, it would be very easy to miss.

Most of their business obviously comes from takeout and catering, as there is very little space to dine in. As for ambiance, the place is just a simple lunch counter. However, the savings that the owners enjoy with the location and lack of decoration is passed on to the customers, as the prices are quite low for the meals.

The menu is composed of Indian classics, such as palak paneer, chicken vindaloo, chicken korma, and of course, various naan breads. As well as individual orders, there is a buffet, which is available in generous portions to go. Guests may choose two different dishes, accompanied with homemade naan and rice.

I chose two of my favorites, chicken vindaloo and palak paneer. Chicken vindaloo is a traditional spicy dish, with a thin tomato and curry sauce. When prepared correctly, it will clear the sinuses and warm your body. While tasty, I would not classify this chicken vindaloo as very spicy. There was a bit of heat to it, but nothing advanced. However, given that it was on a buffet, and that most of their lunch customers are not huge fans of spicy, I think that it was perfect.

The palak paneer was wonderful. A sea of pulverized spinach creamed with onion, spices, and a bit of cheese, the palak part of the dish was almost perfect, but I wished that it was a bit thicker in consistency. However, there was no cheese, which again, is common on buffet versions of this dish.

I ordered a vegetarian samosa extra, and wished that I hadn’t. The samosa, while not greasy, lacked any discernible flavor other than the fried taste of the shell and potato taste of the filling.

The naan was the best part. Fresh from the oven, it was nice and soft, with a chewy texture. Perfect for mopping up bits of the sauces.

I will definitely return, but perhaps just order off of the menu rather than try it again with the buffet.

November 08, 2011 / by / 1 Comments
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