Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thali Too

Hope everyone enjoyed the long Fourth of July weekend and that you had some solid veggie options at whatever party you attended!

On our most recent weekend adventure to Rhode Island, we stopped in New Haven to eat- with a major university in the area, you already know that you'll have your choice of inexpensive restaurants as well as possible veggie options. Like a dog with a brand new frisbee, I immediately graviated toward Thali Too Vegetarian Cuisine of India- Indian might not be on your typical July 4th menu, but when you're on a long car ride when veggie places are few and far between, you know you'll always have vegetarian dishes at an Indian restaurant.

The service at a truck stop might have been more attentive than the service at Thali Too. After finally being noticed by the host, who seemed to be needlessly bustling about a relatively empty restaurant, we continued to wait at our table for someone to finally bring us water before pushing us to get a lassi cocktail at their Lassi Bar. Though I loved the idea of a Lassi Bar, the only thing I loved more was watching our waiter confusedly stumble over his words as we insisted that we were driving and would not be ordering from the bar. I guess when you're situated right outside the college bookstore, having people who could very well be students come in and NOT order drinks would be shocking indeed.

Thankfully, we didn't have to wait too long for our appetizers to come out, though our entrees came soon after. We split Medhu Vada, fried lentil fritters, which were lightly spiced and more filling than I expected them to be. Our Masala Paneer Paratha was also quite good- a whole wheat griddle bread made with Indian cheese, I ended up dipping the paratha into the variety of sauces served with the Medhu Vada, and I was happy that the bread wasn't overly cheesy. It's a matter of preference of course, but I hate being presented with something that looks like Domino's greasy Cheesy Bread, so their paratha was perfect!

The Saag Paneer entree was thick and had a nice garlic undertone to it. The paneer stayed firm amidst the hot saag and was easy to grab with the paratha pieces. The Paneer Sabji Jalfraize was surprisingly smoky, and I wondered if the cook had used a smoked chili to make the zesty tomato based sauce. We rounded out our dinner with Dal Bukhara- creamy lentils with ginger- and the very subtle ginger flavor was my favorite that night. There was so much food leftover that we took it to go- it was even better the next day! So much for worrying about the food getting cold on the last leg of the car ride, I think that would've made the meal.

Despite the poor service and the mediocre decor of the restaurant, I left Thali Too feeling really satisfied by their yummy food- and were I a college student, I'd have been that much more satisfied by the inexpensive menu. Thank goodness for detours off the interstate!

Thali Too, 65 Broadway, New Haven, CT, 203-776-1600

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