10 March 2012

St. Louis Park: Best of India

Set phasers to delicious.

Best of India
8120 Minnetonka Blvd
St. Louis Park, MN  55426
(952) 935-2320

I've done my research as far as Indian food goes.  Not only have I eaten at pretty much Indian restaurant this side of the Mississippi, but I've had my pickings in New York, New Orleans, and London.  And I cook Indian often.  Well, I attempt.  I can't even touch the good stuff.

A year or two after my old favorite closed - New Delhi, on Franklin and 14th Street - Becca invited me to try Best of India.  So I did.  NEW FAVORITE!

For the 300th time, Becca and I decided to come here on our super-special BFF girls' night.  We were so excited, we got there about 20 minutes before they opened.  (Read: they open at 5.  You prolly want to schedule around that.)  So we stared at the store front for a sec.

Then we went to the Ax-Man a couple stores down.  Which was fun.  In a very cluttery way.  Then we wandered into the convenience store on the other side of the place.  Nothing appetized us in the least.

Then, FINALLY, it was 5:00.  BOOYAH.

The place is pretty small, and I'd imagine it seats maybe 60 people, max.  I've never seen it full, so go there.  Get yourself a table.  You won't even have to make a reservation.  The owner and waitstaff are very friendly.  I'm pretty sure a few of them recognize us by now.

Kay.  So.  I got myself a mango juice at $2.50.  It was thick and not too sweet, like someone had blenderized a couple mangoes and poured them into a glass with ice cubes.  Pure mango.  This becomes essential later in the meal, although I can never stop myself from taking a few cursory sips before the food comes.

The menu has a whole vegetarian page.  You'll want to stay away from anything with paneer - Indian cheese - and anything with the word "creamy" in the description.  Otherwise, when you order, just make sure you specify that you need it without ghee.  Ghee's that nummy buttery stuff they cook everything with, but they can easily use oil instead.

My FAVORITE favorite is Baigan Bharta, at $9.50, with a couple orders of Naan ($1.95 each) to share.  They'll ask you how spicy you'd like your curry - mild, medium, hot, or very hot.  I always do medium, which is perfect for me.  It's just enough spiciness to get a powerful kick but still taste the flavor of the dish.  I ain't no spice wimp.  (Well, if I lived in India, I might be.)

Before I took my first bite last night, you have to understand that Becca and I had just had the following conversation.
ALLI: J.J. Abrams needs to make another Star Trek movie.
BBQ: (expression of utter happiness) Pictures of the set leaked!!
ALLI: WHAT.  It's in production?!  What pictures?!
BBQ: These pictures, of course!

Okay, in real life, Becca is not a hyperlink.  But you get the picture.  So with images of a new favorite movie in my head, I started in on the food.

Baigan Bharta is eggplant with peas and onions.  It is SO perfectly creamy and delicious.  The peas are fresh, and the eggplant has completely lost its bitterness and soaked up every amazing flavor the chef coaxed into it.  I order this every single time I come here.  Most favorite.

The naan is also wonderful.  I love eating with my hands.  If only naan were easier to make at home!  But alas.  I must come here for my favorite naan.  Darn.

The meal always comes with a boatload of rice on which you can disperse your curry if you so desire.  Me, I like my curry straight up.  In between spicy bites, I take sips of mango juice to sooth my burning mouth.  Perfect meal.

Now let me continue Homer Simpson-style daydreaming about how good that meal was.

[EDIT 3/17/2013] Readers, I'm sorry to say that the naan here is made with dairy.  Don't despair!  You can have roti instead, which is just as delicious.

1 comment: