Atlanta restaurant reviews, culinary news, and gluttonous gossip by admitted foodaholic Serina Patrick

Desi Spice….Authentic Indian?

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It had a been a long, long time since I last ate Indian food, other than the frozen tikka masala or palaak paneer dinners that are actually quite palatable.

But I had a craving so I talked LC into going to Desi Spice, just a few minutes away, located above the Midtown Art Cinema. The decor is not fancy, with only a few ornate gold Indian pieces set against a background of red and turqoise, puncuated with plain white tables and cheap black chairs. It was getting late and only a few guests remained. Preferring to keep my dining experiences geographically authentic, I ordered a King Fisher beer imported from India.

More familiar with Indian cuisine than LC, I decided we should share a couple of my favorites, including the spiciest Indian dish, vindaloo, available with your choice of proteins. Nevertheless, he spotted tandoori wings on the menu, so we tried them. They were an unnatural shade of red and not nearly as spicy as we had hoped.

I steered away from fried samosas in favor of naan, traditional Indian flatbread cooked in a tandoori oven, with two dipping sauces, a spicy chili and a refreshing raita made with yogurt and cucumber, a strange call for me, the cucumber hater.

An order of palaak paneer and shrimp vindaloo, would be plenty for us to share. We snacked on the pleasingly chewy naan, alternating between the spicy and the cool dips. The dishes arrived with a side of jasmine rice which we spooned onto our plates, topping it with the shrimp vindaloo. LC noted right away that the shrimp were overcooked. It seems they had been simmering in the sauce for hours. I was surprised to find no vegetables in the dish, just twenty of the tiny rubbery shrimp. The sauce displayed some depth, but I’ve had hotter vindaloos.

The palaak paneer was more pleasing. Cubes of cheese with a firm, dense texture were buried in the rich creamed spinach.

My last experience here was a bit better. The place is consistently busy and I’ve read both glowing and negative reviews online; some say it is the most authentic Indian food they’ve had in Atlanta, while others say the exact opposite. All I can say is, don’t get shrimp.

931 Monroe Drive NE 404-872-2220

Desi Spice on Urbanspoon

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