Eating Out: Top 10 Indian Restaurants in Seattle

Few weeks ago, the folks at Groupon reached out to me asking me if i were interested in contributing to their website. Despite all the crazy things going on around me, i agreed to do it because i am a huge fan of Groupon. What’s not to love about good deals and especially when they are related to food right? For those of you not familiar with Groupon, its a deal-of-the-day website that features discounted gift certificates for local and national companies.

Vegetarian_Curry

If you are looking for some recommendations for good Indian restaurants on the east side of Seattle and want a good deal , make sure to read the complete post here.

 

Advertisements

Eating Out- Silence-Heart-Nest

Silence-Heart-Nest

Website: http://www.silenceheartnest.com/

Address: 3508 Fremont Place N, Seattle, WA 98103

Telephone: +1(206) 633-5169

Price: $ (Less than USD 10)

Cuisine type: Vegetarian/Vegan breakfast/brunch

silence heart nest

I was quite intrigued by the name when I read about this place somewhere. Turns out this is a spiritual guru Sri Chinmoy inspired restaurant and they have been in business for about 19 years, 9 of which is in their current Fremont location. We went for brunch on a Sunday with some friends and I was quite surprised by the long line outside(never seen such lines for a vegetarian place). Despite the long lines, we got our table within 10 minutes and a sari-clad waitress came to offer us water and take our order.

carrot ginger juice

I ordered an apple-ginger-carrot juice and my friends ordered carrot and kale juice. Yumjay settled for organic café Vita coffee which he said was very good. My apple ginger carrot juice arrived within 5minutes and it was absolutely divine. Judging by how fast it arrived, I doubt it was freshly made. Anyway it tasted great. I looked at the menu and was quite surprised by the number of egg-based items given that this was a guru-inspired place.Indian gurus are generally not big advocates of eggs which is said to cause hyperactivity and therefore not favorable for inner peace and meditation.

silence heart

They were willing to veganize many dishes and have a few vegan choices on the menu, so I settled for the seasonal tofu scramble with marinated vegetables which came with a huge side of seasoned potatoes and a slice of multigrain toast. The tofu scramble was delicious and the marinated seasonable vegetables which included asparagus was a delightful change. My plate was dominated by potatoes and it almost looked like potatoes were the main dish and the tofu scramble was a side which was a bit disappointing.

silence heart

Yumjay loved his huevos rancheros which also came with a pile of seasoned potatoes, 2 eggs on warm corn tortillas, black beans, home made salsa, sour cream, cheese and avocado. Our friends ordered eggs benedict and waffles which came with a side of eggs, soy bacon and of course potatoes. They gave a double thumbs down for the soy bacon which apparently was very salty and rubbery. They loved the eggs benedict smothered in hollandaise sauce.

WP_20140420_009

I noticed many people ordering sweet potato biscuits with gravy, which is what I would probably get if I were to go here again. The place is very kid friendly and they offer a variety of toys to play with which is a welcome change than just coloring sheets and crayons. Parking can be a hassle if you go late, we found a spot to park on the street at 10am on a Sunday after driving around for 10 minutes. Service was very slow, the drinks came on time and I had to walk over to the waitress and remind her that we placed our order 25 minute ago. All she had to say was they were  busy and that they will bring the food over as soon as possible.  Overall this place is a nice change from regular brunch spots but I don’t think we’d ever drive 12 miles to dine at this place, if we happen to be in the area, maybe yes.

WP_20140420_004

P.S: Yumjay insisted that I give credit to his Nokia Lumia 925 for the pictures, my iPhone was out of battery charge and had to borrow his phone for the pictures:)

Eating Out: Ram’s Farm Pizzeria

Ram’s Farm Pizzeria

Website: http://ramsfarm.blogspot.com/p/pizzeria.html

Address: Kapaleeswarar Nagar, Neelankarai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600041, India

Telephone: +91 44 2449 1976

Price: $ (average price is less than USD 10)

Cuisine type: Neapolitan pizza

rams pizza

During my recent vacation, I had the wonderful opportunity of visiting Ram’s organic farm and pizzeria in Chennai, India.  I hardly eat out when I am in India. I don’t need to because I have endless supply of tasty, home cooked meals at my mom’s place 🙂 Aside from my customary Saravana Bhavan( sadly the Vancouver location has closed down) visit, I seldom eat outside.

photo 1 (8)

My friend AR had great things to say about Ram’s farm and  pizzeria and I was intrigued about the place. When i talked to Prabha on the phone, she was more than happy to open up her home and pizzeria for us on a muggy, rainy evening in Chennai. Ram and Prabha have relocated to Chennai from the States with their kids and their passion to eat clean, natural and healthy food. They have a beautiful home in the suburbs of Chennai, very tastefully built and decorated and Ram makes his Neapolitan pizzas in wood- fired style right in their backyard.

rams pizza

Ram along with his modest crew was busy building a fire and making preparations for the pizzas while Prabha cheerfully took us on a tour of their aesthetically built Chettinad-style  home. I was fascinated by the vibrant colors and “thinnai”, a seating made of concrete and colored oxide in every room. Guests started to come in around 6.30pm and soon the place was filled with hungry people eager to taste their “rumali-roti” style Neapolitan pizza. Everything is made from scratch in their kitchen, right from the yeast which is the building block of pizzas. Ram makes his own buffalo mozzarella cheese which is incredibly delicious and makes his own tomato sauce and pesto too. We decided to sample a half and half pizza, one half with pesto and the other with tomato sauce.

rams pizza

The pizza was cooked to perfection in their 750 F (400 C) wood- fired oven and was loaded with farm fresh, organic veggies some of them grown in their backyard, others sourced locally. My 3 year old took a bite and immediately declared that it was yummy which in other words is great because she normally doesn’t like pizzas. The crust was perfect with a thin layer of crustiness followed by moist, stretchy, chewy interior bursting with flavors from the fresh veggies.

rams pizza

They have an all vegetarian menu and they do vegan pizzas as well with cashew cheese. Our pizza came loaded with raddish, pumpkin and spinach and I am officially a huge fan of his tomato sauce, hands down the best I have ever had. The pesto was a bit runny and salty for me, but the tomato sauce was definitely a winner. I am hoping Ram would share his secret recipe with me after reading this post ;).

photo 4 (5)

Currently the pizzeria is open on Saturdays and Sundays and requires advance reservation but they do party orders on weekdays, if booked in advance. They have a beautiful covered terrace where they can seat about 20 guests. And while waiting for your pizza to get cooked, they are more than happy to show you around their custom built Chettinad home. In addition to pizzas, they serve caprese bites made with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and organic basil with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar for appetizers. They let guests bring their own beer or wine and don’t charge a corkage fee. Ram also bakes birthday cakes and pies on request and a little bird told me his almond pies are the best in Chennai:)

rams pizza

If you are hungry for good pizzas while in Chennai or want to have a relaxed dinner on the way back from Mahabalipuram or Dakshinachitra, popular tourist destinations in Chennai, Ram’s pizzeria has got you covered.

Eating Out: Serious Biscuit

Serious Biscuit

Website: http://www.dahliaworkshop.com/

Address: 401 Westlake Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

Telephone: +1((206) 436-0050

Price: $ (average price of entree is less than USD 10)

Cuisine type: American, Bakery

photo 1

Tom Douglas and his appetite for opening new restaurants is nothing new for Seattleites. What is amazing is that this man means definitely means serious business. I am truly in awe of the good food and service his restaurants offer.  Located in South Lake union neighborhood of Seattle, Serious Biscuit serves the best biscuits in town. They serve a weekend brunch with their regular menu plus wood- fired skillet baked eggs upstairs in Serious Pie. The wait for the brunch on a Sunday morning around 10 am was 45 minutes, so we settled for the biscuits downstairs.

photo 2

I ordered a soup and biscuit combo and added a side of fried egg and collard greens with smoked onions to my biscuit. The soup was bursting with fresh vegetables, it had corn, kidney beans and basil with Prosser farm fresh red peppers and tomatoes in a vegetable broth seasoned with garlic powder and cilantro. The portion was huge as you can tell from the picture.

photo 4

The biscuit was definitely the highlight of my meal. It was moist and flaky like a perfect biscuit should be. The collard greens were a little sweet and the smoky onions perfectly complemented it. The fried egg was fresh and delicious. They served a side of remoulade with the corn and green onion hush puppies which i used for my biscuit and i died, went to heaven and came back.

FOTF94F

The corn and green onion hush puppies were a huge disappointment. While the exterior was crunchy and delicious, the insides definitely lacked flavor and tasted of corn meal, which was a big put off for me. They served the puppies on a bed of cabbage slaw tossed in a peppery vinaigrette and that was delicious. Yumjay ordered a fried chicken biscuit with  tabasco black pepper gravy and he licked his plate clean.

photo 5

They serve cocktails and non alcoholic beverages including freshly brewed Starbucks coffee. They also have freshly baked bread, muffins, scones and cookies for a quick grab and go breakfast. The staff was super friendly. Those guys work like machines whipping out some delicious stuff all day long. If you know what you want, you can place a phone order and save time.

photo

The place is noisy and perfect for people with kids. They don’t have proper seating downstairs in serious biscuit, about 9 two-top tables, a 5-spot counter, and four sidewalk tables and its a self-serve café. Parking can be a bit of a challenge on a busy weekend morning. There is a paid parking garage located next to the cafe and they accept only cash. Plenty of metered parking is available on the streets around the cafe.  Seriously guys, if you are in Seattle, check these guys out. They are outrageously good.

Serious Biscuit on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review: Apna Chaat House

Apna Chaat HouseApna Chaat House on Urbanspoon

Website: http://apnachaat.ca/

Address:  7500 120 St, Surrey, BC V3W 3M9, Canada

Telephone: +1 604-502-8081

Price: $ (average price of entrée is less than USD 10)

Cuisine Type: Indian street food, Indo-Chinese food

apna

Our newest and exciting discovery on our recent trip to Vancouver was Apna Chaat House. Apna Chaat is truly a hidden gem among several  restaurants serving Indian street food in Surrey, BC. The wide spread menu magically transports you to Chowpatty beach in Mumbai. They have a huge menu filled with mouth-watering street food that you’d want to spend an entire day eating them all.

apna5

Crispy Semolina Puffs

The staff was extremely friendly and ready with recommendations when they knew this was our first visit to the restaurant. Located in a strip mall filled with Indian restaurants, apna chaat house truly makes its mark by serving the finest chaat in all of Surrey, BC.  If clean tables, friendly and courteous staff, prompt service and great food is your idea of a good place, this is definitely the place for you. The restrooms were clean , the place is kid friendly and has plenty of free parking.

apna4

Lemon Soda

From gol gappe (crispy semolina puffs filled with flavored water, chutney and potatoes) to vada pav ( toasted dinner rolls stuffed with potato fritters) apna chaat brings aamchi Mumbai to Canada. I liked the idea of standing and eating my gol gappe, getting refills as and when I finished just like the way I’d do in India. The puris were fresh and the chutney had the right amount of spices. They have a 4 and 6 puri option, we opted for the latter and it was quite filling.

apna6

Gol Gappa

I ordered a paneer tikka kati roll which is a popular street food of Kolkatta. Kati roll is a flat bread stuffed with  thin layer of eggs and marinated Indian cottage cheese. The parata tasted very authentic and was thin and flaky compared to some places in Seattle which serve paneer tikka rolled in a tortilla or roti/chapathi. The spices hit the right spot leaving me craving for more. Yumjay had a chicken kati roll and I could tell by his silence that he was in heaven.

apna2

Paneer Tikka Kati Roll

Vada pav was blissful with the spicy garlic chutney smeared liberally on the bun. We ordered a lemon soda to share and it was so good, that we ended up ordering one more. They also have an Indo-Chinese menu and we couldn’t leave the place without ordering a plate of Szechuan fried rice to-go. The rice was perfectly cooked, the veggies had a nice crunch but the sauce was a bit sweet for me.

apna3

Vada Pav

The owner, originally from Mumbai mentioned that he has plans to open a branch in Redmond, WA by the end of this year. This place is a dream come true for any Indian street food lover. It is definitely worth the extra few miles of drive from the border into Surrey for this incredible food.

apna7

Vegetable Szechuan Fried Rice

Restaurant Review: Bayan Mongolian BBQ, Snoqualmie

Bayan Mongolian BBQ

Website: http://www.bayanmongolian.com

Address: 8020 Douglas Ave SE, Snoqualmie, WA 98065

Telephone: +1(425) 888-2110

Price: $ (average price is less than USD 10)

Cuisine Type: Mongolian

b8

I must confess that I have a soft spot for Mongolian restaurants. I love how everything right from the noodles, veggies and sauces is self-serve and how you can pick what you want to eat. For a long time I was a loyal customer of Khan’s Mongolian Grill on Gilman Blvd, Issaquah. And then on beautiful sunny afternoon, after a hike at the tiger mountains we discovered Bayan Mongolian BBQ in Snoqualmie and since then my loyalties have switched.

b4

Bayan is very conveniently located in Snoqualmie ridge, with plenty of parking and outdoor seating. The only view from the outdoor seating area is the gas station, therefore we decided to sit indoors. Not that it made a big difference to the view. The restaurant is clean, spacious and the staff is very friendly and courteous. They have a huge basket full of toys and puzzles for kids, so totally kid friendly too. Their lunch special came with a drink and potstickers along with a medium bowl of noodles for under $10. They have veggie pot stickers too, which you don’t find in most restaurants.bayan

This place is certainly heaven for vegetarians, their selection of veggies is far better than any of the Mongolian restaurants I’ve eaten before. As far the noodle selection goes, they have only 2 options, yakisoba and rice noodles. I really liked how all their sauces were self-serve too, not just sriracha. You can use little cups provided to pick sauces of your choice and I filled my cups with a little of almost every vegetarian sauce and lots of spicy Mongolian sauce. They offer a choice of tofu, chicken, pork, shrimp and steak for protein and serve the noodles with a scoop of brown or white rice.b5

They have dedicated one side of the grill for vegetarians and use separate tongs to cook veggie food. This is a pretty big deal considering how most other places don’t do it. The veggie pot stickers were a little oily but the filling was very tasty. It came with a yummy sweet and spicy dipping sauce. They also have soups and wraps on their menu. They serve beer, wine and have a modest dessert menu too.

bayan

Overall a great place to visit when a craving for Mongolian food hits. The gas station view is not exactly something that i’d want to see while eating, but considering the quality of food and the good service, the view isn’t a big deal.
Bayan Mongolian BBQ on Urbanspoon

Eating Out: Bakery Nouveau

Bakery Nouveau

Website: http://www.bakerynouveau.com/welcome/

Address: 1435 East John Court Suite 137, Seattle, WA 98112

Telephone: +1 (206) 858-6957

Price: $ (average price of entrée is less than USD 10)

Cuisine type: Bakery and Cafe

BN

Call us crazy, but we don’t mind the 30 mile drive from east side of Seattle for a good croissant and an espresso. Bakery Nouveau offers just what we need. Their croissants are the best in town but be prepared for the long lines. Bakery Nouveau which started pampering Seattleites with their rich pastries and desserts in 2008, recently opened their second location in Capitol Hill, Seattle close to Group Health. In terms of location, it cant be more perfect. There’s a beautiful park opposite the bakery which is the go-to place for most customers on a beautiful day because of limited seating at the bakery. There’s plenty of road side parking and the smell of rich, buttery pastries will drag you into this place. You definitely don’t need a GPS, just follow your nose.

BN2

We went there on a busy Saturday morning. Yumjay’s friend had warned us about the long lines, therefore we weren’t surprised when we saw the line out the door and about 20 deep. It was quite fast moving though and within 10 minutes we were inside the bakery drooling at all the delectable pastries, cakes and macaroons in the display case. We went on a croissant spree and ordered a butter croissant which came with small tubs of jam and butter, a dried cherry and pistachio butter croissant, a twice-baked chocolate croissant, a twice-baked almond croissant and a ham-cheese croissant for Yumjay. The twice baked croissants are a Bakery Nouveau specialty and a must try. The biggest highlight for me was the cherry croissant with pistachio butter. It was nothing short of brilliant. Every layer was warm, flaky, buttery slathered with slightly salty pistachio butter and tangy, sweet cherries. I nearly died, went to heaven and came back. There was a time when I used to laugh at the idea of pastries for breakfast, but now i’d do it, only if its from Bakery Nouveau.

photo

They have very imaginable variety of fruit tarts, sweet and savory croissants including several vegetarian savory options, cakes and quiches. They also have a case displaying dangerously delicious chocolates. The kitchen is behind the café and through two partially opened curtains, you can get a glimpse of what’s going on. When I was waiting in line, I saw one of the bakers slather butter on dough and despite seeing the amount of butter used, I ordered a croissant. That’s the magic of this place. They have a variety of French sandwiches for lunch, so if you can’t make it for breakfast, you can still go for lunch.

WP_20130527_001

The service is fast and friendly. The girls who worked there were quite chatty and despite the long lines and crazy morning, they were very courteous. I really hope that they would open a branch on the east side of Seattle soon. True to its name, there’s nothing really comparable to what this place has got to offer in all of Seattle.
Bakery Nouveau on Urbanspoon