I want to throw some love at a few local restaurants that we've tried and were worth shouting about. I think it's important to support local business, and I also think these restaurants are worth the trip!
Disclaimer: I am NOT a reviewer, nor am I any kind of authority. I just want to share the good experiences I have had.
Ok, here goes:
Rasoi, 727 East Ave, Pawtucket, RI. (Yes, it's the one in the Rite Aid parking lot.)
We ended up here for my good friend Julie's birthday recently. Eric makes Indian food at home, but we rarely get to go out for it. Funnily enough, I thought I had been to this place before but it was a totally different location. A happy accident, as they say.
We arrive, slightly intimidated, but excited to try some new dishes.
First off, it's pretty small. About the size of a large coffee shop. They've done a great job with separating the tables so you don't feel as though you are in a small restaurant once you are seated.
We started with drinks- I split the sangria with Kevin (a friend) and Eric and Julie ordered beers.
Appetizers: We got the Cauliflower, which was marinated and then fried. It was delicious. We also tried the Samosas, which were made with potato and homemade cheese. These were OK. The cheese was good, but the rest was a little bland. I would have like to have this during my entree (you'll see why!)
I ordered the Chana Masala, and Eric got the Lamb Vindaloo. (Side note, whenever I hear the word Vindaloo, all I can think of is the song "Punjab Paddy" by Gaelic Storm. It's a riot. You shoud download it. Now. :)
Being the adventurous eater that I am, I mentioned to the waiter that I liked spicy food. Oh what an error in judgement that was. The Chana Masala was ALREADY spicy, and they pumped up the volume for mine. It was extraordinary, but I did feel as though I would start to have blisters if I continued to eat the entire thing.
However the waiter was so incredibly gracious, he offered to replace my meal. I refused because, after all, it wasn't HIS fault that I so brazenly declared my love for spicy food in an INDIAN restaurant. And I did eat some of the leftovers with a lot of rice later that week.
So I recommend the Chana Masala, but not extra spicy. In my mind, for a first time Indian food eater, vegetarian is the way to go. Rasoi offers a very large list of vegetarian entrees, which I loved.
Eric's Lamb Vindaloo was awesome. Seriously. I couldn't recommend a dish more highly. It was tender, spicy, and sweet, and just lovely.
We finished off the meal with some homemade vanilla ice cream that had a touch of what I think was ginger. Perfect!
Rasoi is extremely accommodating, offering gluten free, dairy free, and vegan options.
They also have an all-you-can eat gluten free vegan buffet on Saturdays.
I can truly recommend this restaurant- it was a wonderful experience.