Today’s Achievement begs the question: is it cheating to return to a totally incredible Indian restaurant we’ve already visited once this year?
Well, if the first visit was part of our Oakland restaurant Achievement, and we somehow forgot to use the Groupon we had, and subsequently had to return to do so (and of course to try some new dishes), then no. No, we are not cheating.
(And even if we were, it’s our blog, so I will let it slide 🙂
On a lovely Sunday evening, we made a return to Tamarind restaurant on Craig Street. If you have a Groupon for Tamarind, they require reservations on Friday and Saturday evenings, but Sundays you are welcome to come without a reservation – just be prepared for a crowd.
The little waiting area was packed when we arrived, but the hostess (who was also a server) kept a miraculous mental list of the order of arrival, and we were seated in less than ten minutes, at the same little table we had sat on our first visit.
For our BYOB wine this evening, we brought a San Luis Obispo wine we’d been saving from our March West Coast trip for just the perfect occasion. I can’t lie – I feel the tiniest bit of a wine snob when we go to a restaurant and drink wine we actually bought at the winery 🙂
We opted to try another one of the dosas this time. Last visit, we got the cilantro dosa, which was flat and very crepe-like. This time, we got the madras masala dosa, which was stuffed with potatoes, onions, and lentils. This one is definitely the right size for sharing, and I’m glad that we chose to hold off on samosas this time, as it really would have been too much (and we all know that at Tamarind, ‘too much’ means very little – the food is so good, I have a hard time stopping eating just because I’m full!).
As much as we loved our entrees last time, we wanted to break out and try something new. Michael got the chicken tikka (okay, not so much ‘going outside the box’ for him, as that’s his favorite Indian dish, but it was different than what he got last time!), and I got the aloo gobi masala. This dish was just amazing. It had this incredible quality to it where it felt like it was insanely spicy, but it didn’t have that after-effect of making you sweat and want to gulp down water.
I presume this to be an ancient Indian secret, but I am quite content with returning multiple times in an effort to solve the mystery. 😉
Somehow, in the craziness of the packed restaurant that night, our garlic naan wound up on someone else’s table. Our waitress noticed immediately that we’d been served dinner without bread, and she got the chef to prepare a steaming-hot basket of garlic naan in just moments, and as a courtesy in light of the delay, she even took the cost off the total bill. Across both visits now, we have had exceptional customer service!
This is our seventh Groupon, so we’ve only got three more to go (although I know we’ll using even more than that – and returning to Tamarind even when it doesn’t count for an Achievement). Thanks, Tamarind, for another great evening!