Saturday, October 16, 2010

Taste of India & Nepal

Click to enlarge - Interior of Taste of India and Nepal
Taste of India & Nepal
330 N. Main Street
Pocatello Id. 83204
(208) 478-0172

In the 1990’s, Keshab Chhetri was a Sherpa in Nepal earning living guiding climbers up the mountains. Fate would have it that during a 14-day climb he would meet a woman who would change his life forever. Keshab got to come to America for a few months to see what the USA was all about. After returning to his native land, the desire to return became stronger and he came back to America several more times before deciding to stay for good. Keshab lived in various places in California, from Long Beach to Atascadero, but finally settled in Pocatello, Idaho. He wanted a quiet and safe environment to raise his family but he also needed to earn a living.
Click to enlarge -Naan, tandoori clay-oven baked bread.
The Taste of India & Nepal was born. It features the cuisine of Himalaya and is operated by Keshab and his family. Richly decorated with deep red walls and swag silken tapestries draped on the ceilings with luxurious deep purple scarves adoring the doorway dividing the two dining areas. White linen table cloth covered tables with a glass overlay and cloth napkins jetting out of your water glass. Soft Indian music in the background and a gracious host to greet you at the door, although small in stature the restaurant makes up in the quality of its food.

A generous menu offers the diner an assortment of Click to enlarge - Curried chicken plated with basmati rice, saag aloo [spinach, potato and spices], and raita[yogurt - cucumber sauce].appetizers, main dishes, curries, vegetarian and traditional tandoori -style cooking done in a traditional clay oven. Your choices include chicken, lamb shish kebab, tandoori shrimp or lamb tikka. Most of these dishes are savory and spicy and can be ordered to your heat preference. The vegetarian curries are served with basmati rice and include chole (chickpea) saag aldo (spinach) mushroom bhaji (mushroom and peas) most are served in savory gravy with potatoes and spices.

A generous array of curries is offered including vegetable, chicken, lamb or seafood. Rounding out the menu is Mo Mo (steamed dumplings) served with a spicy tomato sauce and filled with a
Click to enlarge - Curried chicken in serving bowl.
variety of meats. Naan, the leavened bread that is cooked in the tandoori oven, is available as is Poori, a puffy deep fried wheat bread. If you order hot and spicy, I would suggest a side order of Raita (a cooling yogurt cucumber sauce similar to tzatziki sauce) or Dal (lentils cooked in spices). You can order a dessert of gulab jamun (cheese balls in sweetened cardamom syrup) or Kheer (rice pudding). Beer from the U.S. and India are featured as well as wine by the glass. Soft drinks, tea and coffee round out the menu.

Open Monday through Saturday, lunch is served 11am-2-pm, and on Saturday, 11:30am-230pm. Dinner is available at 5pm-9:30pm all six days.

More information is available at their website, .

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Pocatello, Idaho

Click to enlarge - Salad from the salad bar and my glass of Pinot Noir

Ruby Tuesday’s
Pocatello, Idaho

I usually don’t need a reason to dine out. Being it was my birthday, I got to chose where and when. Since I had never eaten at the much advertised restaurant chain of Ruby Tuesdays, it was an obvious choice. The décor is an upscale version of most chain establishments, tables and booths and a centralized bar area with seating and even dining al fresco weather permitting.
We were quickly seated in a booth, which I soon realized was just a bit smaller than your usual booths. My daughter and I were touching shoulders and my son easily fit into his solo position opposite us. None the less, the wait staff was pleasant and efficient. Menus in hand we soon picked our entrée’s and salad bar. The salad bar is modest in size but does serve mescaline greens, romaine and ice berg lettuce, and prepared salads of potato, macaroni and my favorite of the evening blue cheese cole slaw. There are your usual toppings and about 6 dressing choices. They serve a garlic cheese drop-style biscuit with your soup or salad - don’t get too hungry because the size is not much larger than a silver dollar - not to be confused with the generous portions of the same style biscuit served to you at Red Lobster. And one per customer, at least that is what we were served.
Click to enlarge - Chicken Fresco, a chicken breast topped with vine ripened tomatoes, lemon butter sauce and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.I chose the Chicken Fresco, a chicken breast topped with vine ripened tomatoes, lemon butter sauce and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette. It was served with sides of creamy mashed cauliflower and Bleu cheese coleslaw. The chicken was moist, had good flavor and a sufficient portion. The sides were adequate and served to accent the chicken.
My son chose the Chicken Bella, “Sautéed baby portabella mushrooms and artichokes in a Parmesan cream sauce over a fresh, grilled chicken breast.” The sides were white cheddar mashed potatoes and fresh, steamed broccoli. The chicken was well cooked, moist and tender, the sauce flavorful but not overpowering the chicken or mushrooms. Click to enlarge - Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese, made with chunks of lobster meat and rich, creamy cheese.
Click to enlarge - Chicken Bella, “Sautéed baby portabella mushrooms and artichokes in a Parmesan cream sauce over a fresh, grilled chicken breast

My daughter wasn’t very hungry and chose a side dish, Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese, for her dinner. The menu describes it as, “…the ultimate Mac ‘n Cheese, made with chunks of lobster meat and rich, creamy cheese. The classic comfort food!” Curious, we asked the waitress if the lobster was real and were assured it was. Although a side dish it was not too bad, but not that great; after all it was a side and meant to be eaten with other food.
They have a nice wine list and actually offer you a choice of prices per glass to choose from, a good selection of beer and a full bar plus the usual non alcoholic beverages. I chose a medium priced Pinot Noir to accompany my dish, my son opted to try a seasonal draft which when served was dark and by the expression on his face very bitter. The waitress took it away after a little discussion and served up a glass of regular beer.
It is a nice family style establishment which offers a wide variety of food choices at medium prices. For a casual luncheon or dinner Ruby Tuesday’s is a nice option.