Once again we have dined outside the box, as it were, and lived to dine again another day!
This time the cuisine was from India. We chose a small restaurant in NW Portland called Swagat. It had a kind of quaint, friendly look on the outside. The host greeted us as we entered and promptly seated us in the dining area. There were only a few other guests but that was certainly ok because the dining room wasn't a really large place anyway. Very quickly the waitress was at the table ready to take our beverage order and to place a tray of three different sauces on our table.
We admitted our ignorance of Indian cuisine early on and she patiently explained the various terms, types of food, and how it is normally enjoyed.
We each received a cracker like this and were told it was proper to dip it in the various sauces which we did. It was good. I am a bit more tolerant of spices than Debbie. The green sauce was the hottest but it was good. I think she was ok with it too. She did comment that the cracker was good and I completely concurred with that assessment.
We decided that we should at least try an appetizer. We chose the assorted vegetable pakoras. The vegetables came in a deep fried batter cocoon so it was sometimes difficult to identify each but I'm guessing that at least one was a slice of potato, perhaps a slice of eggplant, a couple of varieties of pepper, and some onions. This was very good and also dipped well in our three sauces. I am afraid that we were becoming full by the time we completed our appetizer and perhaps weren't hungry enough to truly enjoy our entree to it fullest.
This was Debbie's choice. It was called Chicken Saag. Essentially, it is chunks of chicken breast cooked in a mild spinach curry.
My selection, far more spicy I might add, was called Lamb Karai. It was lamb cooked in a tomato and green pepper curry.
This is the bread that was served with the meal. I believe it is called naan. It was a lot like a pancake. Apparently, the dough is splattered on the brick oven to cook. It was good and relieved the effects of the spices on my tongue.
This image portraits the two desert selections that were included in the price of the meal. Debbie chose the white rice pudding. It was tasty, kind of thin, and an appropriate end to this meal. My choice was the pastry. Essentially, it was a cake doughnut hole with a thin honey sauce spread over the top. It was good and if I hadn't already had far too much to eat I would have enjoyed it more.
The service was fine. I believe the food was good as well. Debbie is not a friend of curry generally and though I can appreciate curry, I was too full to enjoy my entree to its fullest. Actually, we brought significant portions home and I enjoyed it far more the second night. I have to think that it was good both nights and that overeating on the first night tainted my overall opinion. I would encourage you to try the Swagat and see for yourselves.