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Friday, March 21, 2008

Thing 104: Liquor Store Indian Food

This was my lunch a couple of days ago:

Butter chicken from the liquor store
Butter chicken, fennel rice, curried chickpeas and pita -- and I bought it at the liquor store down the street!

I discovered that Capitol Hill Wine & Spirits (323 Pennsylvania Ave., SE) serves Indian lunch because I was buying booze in the middle of the day for what I swear was a perfectly legitimate reason. As soon as I stepped in, I was overwhelmed by the heavenly smell of cardamom, curry, cinnamon and chiles. In short, it smelled like a legitimate Indian restaurant even though it was a fluorescently-lit liquor store with coolers of tall boys, handles of cheap vodka and a lotto ticket counter.

I went to the back, where there is a small deli counter, and ordered from the short Indian menu. They have kabobs, chicken tikka, tandoori chicken, butter chicken and lamb curry. I brought my styrofoam container back to my cubicle and dug in.

This isn't the greatest Indian meal of my life, but it's pretty darn good, especially when you consider its very humble origins. The butter chicken had a nice heat to it, the chickpeas had a spicy, slighly sweet warming curry, and the basmati rice studded with fennel seeds was delicious. I sopped up my sauces with the pita bread was very happy and sastisfied.

I know of a couple other holes in the wall with unexpectedly good food -- Gandel's 'special' comes to mind, or the egg salad at the GW Deli-- but you tell me. What are you favorite hidden treasures?

One year ago: Po' Boy Happy Hour at Southside 815.


James Roach said...

323 Pennsylvania Ave., SE) serves great Indian Food. They also deliver FREE locally. You can go to their website and place the order. Their choice of high end wines and imported beer is remarkable!!! You will enjoy. 202.546.7070