A search on Yelp for Indian restaurants in Tallahassee returns 3 hits. For a town that doesn’t revel in culinary diversity, that’s a good number. However, it does hamper competition: you don’t have to be the best Korean restaurant if you’re the only Korean restaurant (keep representin’, Korean BBQ and More). That’s why I’m always careful not to give credit to ethnic restaurants just because they didn’t make me sick.
Sara and I hit the town with our friends Casie and Julia on Friday night. We hadn’t been to the Curry Pot before and the girls were game. I spent four years in college living with my Indian friend, Ameer. His mom would stock an ice chest full of Indian food several times a year and drop it off at our apartment. She’s a fantastic cook and is highly regarded as such in her Atlanta Indian community (she makes a shrimp curry that would blow your mind). So though I’m no expert, I do have a lot of experience eating Indian.
We try to scout ahead before we eat at a new restaurant, often looking at reviews or the online menu. The Curry Pot doesn’t have an online menu, but I did find this at GoWaiter. The reviews on Yelp are varied, which isn’t unusual when you eat at a family owned and operated business because they can be wildly inconsistent. I called ahead to see if we needed reservations, which we didn’t. I asked the guy who answered the phone if they had bhatura bread (one of my favorites), to which he responded “We don’t but I’ll make it for you”.
The interior is a bit underwhelming, with well worn paths on the carpet. The imported beers, including Taj Mahal and Kingfisher, are relatively cheap at $3.95 per. Sara and Casie got wine, which was basically priced at two-for-one considering our waiter filled the wine glass to the top.
We all ordered different entrees so we could get a good sample of the food. These included Tandoori chicken with tikka sauce, matter paneer, goat saag, and aloo gobhi. We also got the variety bread basket and a piece of bhatura bread.
The vegetables stood out because they weren’t overcooked and seemed very fresh. The goat saag was bone-in, very lean and tasted fantastic (relevant trivia: goat is the most widely consumed meat in the world). The matter paneer was pleasant and buttery. The bread was very good too, though I would caution you when eating the onion naan as it is stuffed with quite a bit of onion.
Contrary to some reviews on Yelp, I thought the service was very good. Our waiter was very knowledgeable about all the food we ordered and had a good enough handle on English to give us adequate explanations. The only strike against them was that they were out of mango ice cream by the time we got to dessert (something Samrat seems to be in no short supply of as it is even on their lunch buffet).
All in all, it was very good Indian and worthy of future dining consideration (irrelevant trivia: for those of you wondering what might qualify as “different” Indian, imagine Chinese-Indian fusion). If you’re skeptical of Indian food, you should try it at least once and the Curry Pot is a very safe option. Other than the spices, you can find every ingredient they cook with at Publix. Which reminds me: PLEASE SUPPORT TALLAHASSEE’S LOCALLY OWNED RESTAURANTS!