Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Nepal Restaurant

I am always on the look out for my new favorite restaurant! I love cooking, don't get me wrong. But sometimes I want to sit back and let someone else prepare the food. Unfortunately, I haven't had many wonderful dining experiences out here in Colorado.

Last week, however, Dev and I found a diamond in the rough. A while back (while we were looking for the perfect dog to adopt), we drove out to the animal shelter in Glenwood Springs, CO. At the turn off from the highway, I noticed a restaurant in this little strip mall called The Nepal Restaurant. I made a mental note of it and filed it away in the back of my mind.

Earlier this week, Dev and I were shopping around in Glenwood Springs (which is a fairly common occurence). For some reason, I remembered the little restaurant in the strip mall, and suggested we go eat there.

I am sooooo glad I did!

The restaurant itself is nothing fancy. The dining room is rather smallish. The decor consists mostly of posters of Mt. Everest and other Tibetan/Nepalize(sp) cultural items and traditional symbols. I noticed as we sat and waited for our meal, that everyone who came through the door seemed to know the staff, entering to welcoming hugs and questions about family members, or school. This, to me, is a very good sign!

I ordered chai right off the bat. And I was not disappointed. Every time I emptied my cup, a staff member appeared out of nowhere with a steaming hot pot, ready to refill my teacup. The downside of this was drinking 3 cups of chai before our food arrived. It also may be responsible for a tummy ache I had later that night!

I ordered the combo plate for an appetizer, because it had a little of almost everything on the appetizer section of the menu. Here's a pic...

On this platter we found: shrimp, chicken and vegetable Pakoda (a version of tempura using chickpea flour) and a Samosa. It was wonderful! The fried meat and veggies were crispy, but not mushy. The flavor of the chickpea flour is present, but not overwhelming. The samosa was especially good. I love fried pies, and this one was seasoned perfectly! Oh- andI almost forgot the Papad (crispy lentil wafer) and the Naan (flatbread). All the above was served with a grouping of sauces, ranging from sweet to spicy to a tzaziki-like yogurt based sauce.

I seriously should have stopped right there. I was fat and happy. But then our entrees arrived....

Dev had the Lamb Bhuteko (Seasoned lamb in dry tomato sauce with cooked onion)...

I wish I had ordered this. It was spicy and sweet and soft and crunchy all at the same time. I would have wrapped it all up in the garlic/cheese Naan we ordered to go with it. And I could have died a happy woman.

I ordered the Lamb Kawab (Marinated in yogurt and herbs overnight then cooked in Tandoori oven)...

My entree was really good, but it lacked that saucy smoothness I have come to expect from this kind of food. Normally I order a korma preparation. And I'm sure I'll order that next time. I have no doubt these people do an off the charts version of it. But this was really good. And if Dev hadn't ordered the Bhuteko, I probably would have waxed poetic about my entree. But as it stands, I liked his better. I did eat the pieces of roasted lamb and onion wrapped in the garlic/cheese naan. I have the leftovers in the ice box, and I think that will be my lunch, with a little homemade tzaziki topping it all off.

Needless to say, The Nepal Restaurant will definitely go into our regular rotation. Mondays are reserved for Taipei Tokyo...but this might become a weekend date night tradition!!

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