Chatpat is a food truck serving up Indian food. You can find their location on their Twitter. They have a delicious samosa chat, which for $6 is a very affordable and filling dish. I also had their chai, which was decent, if slightly weak. For dessert, I had one of my favorite treats, gulab jamun, which is kind of like a munchkin soaked in honey and rosewater. It tasted great, though I prefer it hot, while this one came cold. This is a solid option for a delicious and affordable lunch break.
Himalayan Heritage Restaurant is an Indian and Nepalese restaurant located at 2305 18th St NW in Adams Morgan. It is a really great place for a cold winter evening since the place is cozily decorated like a Himalayan mountain lodge. I have been to another Indian and Nepalese restaurant in DC, Laliguras, which was also good but Himalayan Heritage offers more Nepalese options. I started the meal with a mug of chhaang, a Nepalese and Tibetan rice beer that is literally the stuff of legend. It tastes a bit
Chhaang, the Himalayan rice beer that is the drink of choice of the yetis.
like sake and legend has it that it is the favorite drink of Yetis, who raid villages in order to steal it. It also supposedly cures alcoholism, which is a counterintuitive quality for a beer. For my dinner, I had the dhindo thali. Dhindo is a Nepalese cornmeal porridge that is a bit like West African fufu in consistency. It is used to eat the food with your hands (it serves a similar function to Ethiopian injera). My thali came with goat curry, dal, spinach, and spicy pickled veggies. It was delicious and pretty spicy. I can take medium spice, but if you can’t handle spice at all, be wary. This is a great place to go for a unique dining experience in the heart of AdMo.
Quite a bit of food for $12.95!
Salt & Pepper Grill is a Pakistani restaurant (one wonders why the name isn’t Curry & Chutney Grill or something) located at 2632 Georgia Ave NW, with additional locations at 3925 14th St NW and 5830 Georgia Ave NW. I made the mistake of ordering far too much here; I got both an order of two samosas (very tasty) and a boti kebab. What I didn’t realize is that the boti kebab (and I assume all the kebabs) come with rice, naan, tomatoes and cucumbers and a choice of curry on the side. The kebab itself could have been more tender, though the flavor was good. But for $12.95 it’s a good deal and it’s even cheaper ($10.95) if you order chicken tikka. Be aware that Salt & Pepper Grill has the ambiance of a fast food restaurant; there are enough tables that eating-in is very doable, but don’t expect atmosphere and definitely don’t come here on a date. But if you want tasty South Asian food at very reasonable prices, it’s a good bet!
Grand Trunk is an Indian-inspired fast food restaurant located at 641 Indiana Avenue NW, right next to the Navy Memorial. This place serves a mixture of South Asian dishes, such as chicken tikka and dal, alongside Indian-American fast food fusion dishes, like the Grand Trunk Naan Burger, which is probably their signature item. The Naan Burger is a delicious kebab-flavored patty, topped with Indian accoutrements like cilantro and different chutneys and served in naan. My only gripe
The naan burger.
about it is that cheese is $1.50 extra (though it really doesn’t need cheese on it since there are so many other flavors in play). They also have a wide selection of dessert naans, including the cinnamon sugar naan with cardamom (my favorite spice). The cinnamon sugar naan was delicious and huge, but the amount of filling in it was inconsistent; a portion of it was loaded with filling, whereas in the rest it was just brushed on. Overall, this place gets major points for innovation and for making things that you don’t see elsewhere. The decor is also pretty cool and Disney-esque (if a little tacky). There was, however, a weird pile of cushions stacked on the side of the restaurant, which was a bit haphazard for what was otherwise
Cinnamon sugar naan.
a sleek and cool space. In addition, their website has very little information and says “coming soon.” I think this reflects their intention to grow the business as a chain, but it could confuse some into thinking that the Penn Quarter location isn’t open yet. It was also weirdly quiet when I went around 7 pm, perhaps because it’s not in a very lively evening location; one wonders why they didn’t set up shop in Adams Morgan or U Street instead. This place has lots of potential and I’ll definitely be back; it just has a bit of fine-tuning to do.
Nepalese goat curry with rice.
Laliguras is an Indian and Nepalese restaurant located at 4221 Connecticut Ave NW in North Cleveland Park. It is a warm, attractive place with tasty (if not incredibly memorable) food. It is cool, however, that they have some Nepalese options that make the menu a bit more interesting than the menu at the average Indian restaurant. Note that this is a mid-range place, not a budget option.
It’s hard to beat a dose of dosa!
DC Dosa is a dosa (vegetarian Indian crepes/pancakes) place located inside Union Market. It offers large, filling, and flavorful dosas that are worth the $9 price tag. This place would get five stars but for the fact that a Pakistani American friend told me that they don’t give customers the required large quantity of chutney needed for authentic dosas. The place is well worth a trip to Union Market, plus there are plenty of other great spots there like Teaism and Peregrine Espresso to round out the experience.
Just like the aunties make them.