Desi Spice, Atlanta GA

It was with a heavy heart that we bid farewell to Roswell’s Moksha, which had been my favorite Indian restaurant in the Atlanta area. Well, now I’m on the lookout for something to claim its former crown, and that is going to mean eating as much Indian food as the wallet will allow. I’ll try and rise to the challenge.

Well, I exaggerate. I really don’t get out for Indian all that often, and still miss that wonderful vegetarian place in Decatur with the no-frills approach and styrofoam plates. But I’m certainly happy to keep my eyes open for something new and very tasty, and this past weekend, with Marie out of town again, I asked David whether he was free to find some grub for a Saturday lunch. The restaurant was his idea; left to me, we might have gone down to Jackson or over to Covington or someplace to fill up some of the list I’m trying to do. No matter; I am perfectly happy to stay in town and have some Indian food. There was only one obstacle: my daughter. It took this girl almost a decade to admit to liking Brunswick stew, so it’s evident that Indian cuisine is simply going to take a little longer.

I was mostly very pleased with my meal. They offer a nicely-priced lunch menu, even on Saturdays, which gets you a small appetizer, rice and dessert along with your main course. I had some mulligatawny soup with my lamb curry. I honestly won’t say that was the best lamb that I’ve ever tried, feeling a little stringier than I prefer, but the sauce was a delicious, medium hot concoction, and I liked that better than many other curries that I’ve had before. The mulligatawny had a delightful zing of ginger with its kick, but the color – a vibrant red – completely surprised me. I’ve always seen it as a yellowy orange.

Instead of soup, David had an onion pakura that he said was wonderful, and an order of chicken tikka which he shared. Much as I liked the curry, I got menu envy again, because this chicken was prepared just perfectly. It was tender and juicy and the light green sauce that came with it proved a nice, if unnecessary, accompaniment. Our desserts were the small bowl of wonderful rice pudding that I ordered, and a dish new to me, gulab jamun, a deep-fried cheese ball dipped in honey. As David felt that his blood sugar was already through the roof on Saturday, he passed that to me and darn if I haven’t found a dessert on Indian restaurant menus that I enjoy even more than rice pudding.

Well, Desi Spice is certainly very tasty indeed, and the girlchild definitely missed out by only agreeing to a stuffed paratha before decamping for the little Rita’s Italian Ice stand down below the restaurant, which was once a Bruster’s. It’s in the shopping center with the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema and the Trader Joe’s. If there was only a nice trail connecting this strip mall on Monroe with the one behind it on Ponce with the Borders, then you could easily spend all afternoon here, shopping, reading, watching good movies and having a few good meals. There are a heck of a lot of decent restaurants in the neighborhood, plus a couple that I’ve been hoping to try.

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Other blog posts about Desi Spice:

Adventurous Tastes (Oct. 6 2008)
Hot Dish Review (Dec. 20 2009)
Atlanta Etc. (June 17 2010)

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