The Dhaba

Looking at Indian restaurants in America, it used to be that the cuisine of south Asia was so exotic that any Indian restaurant would do. As a result, most followed the same format with a generic menu and closed the deal with a lunch buffet. Thankfully, some variety has emerged. There are southern Indian restaurants around town, as well as the occasional chaat shop for snacks. Along Tempe’s Apache Boulevard, The Dhaba serves food from the Punjab region of northern India and explores that specialty in more depth than most local Indian restaurants. Continue reading “The Dhaba”

MATCH Cuisine & Cocktails

At the southern edge of Hance Park, a mid-rise building formerly known as the Lexington Hotel has spent most its history as a boring beige box. The property was occasionally redeemed, however, by some unexpected bursts of brilliance from its restaurant. When the hotel was a Best Western, the kitchen served standard American fare but had a secret Indian menu available to those savvy enough to request it. Later, it became home to Cycle, a series of pop-up engagements in which its kitchen was taken over by a changing cast of local chefs. Continue reading “MATCH Cuisine & Cocktails”

Nawaz Indian Cuisine

The brand new 19th Avenue / Dunlap light rail station, the line’s western terminus until track is extended to MetroCenter in the next decade, is easy to identify by its vibrant public art. In a community plaza built right at the corner, distinctive metal structures descend from an overhead canopy and form varied shadows on the surface below. The metal is painted a color that is not quite yellow, not quite orange, but a sort of golden hue in between. The color might be described in terms of turmeric, the popular spice revered not only for its taste but also its healthful properties. Continue reading “Nawaz Indian Cuisine”

Delhi Palace

When Indian food was less common in the United States, the best place to look for it was almost always near a college campus. Delhi Palace, located just a block east of the University / Rural light rail station near Arizona State University in Tempe, was not quite the first Indian restaurant to open in Phoenix. Nevertheless, since its founding in 1989, the restaurant has operated longer in the same location and under the same ownership than any other. These days, Delhi Palace faces a lot more competition — not only in Tempe, but throughout the metro area.

chana masala

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Curry Corner

The corner, a simple geometric concept, has always been larger than life in popular culture. In “Down on the Corner,” Creedence Clearwater Revival sang about playing at an intersection for spare change. A few years later, Barbra Streisand compared memories to the “corners of my mind.” On streets throughout the region, so many corners look the same that an irregular one is interesting in itself. In Tempe, the literally off-the-grid intersection of Terrace and Apache is home to Curry Corner, a Pakistani restaurant that incorporates its location into its name.

vegetarian thali
vegetarian thali

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