Friday, July 29, 2005



In my book, Shalimar has a storied past. Honestly, I wish it weren't so storied. Ah.. the old days... before the ownership change.... before the food turned to evil. 'Twas the best South Asian food in Austin (arguably).

[minute of silence]

The old glory days of Shalimar are over, but I'm trying to forget about that. I won't go into what used to be good there, etc. Consider the universe to have begun right after the ownership change, which was mid-2004, I believe. After that, I went there a couple of times, tried some of the "new" recipes, and promptly locked myself in my house for a few days so as not to vent my frustration on the wrong people.

Weeks later, with a clear mind and zero expectations, I went in for another try and was shocked to discover one spectacular menu item, the Dal Fry.

Fast forward a few months, to this past weekend. I paid another visit there and decided to play it safe, so I ordered the Dal Fry again, with a naan. My friend ordered the Palak Paneer, also with a naan. We shared.

Naan: Highly edible. That's still great here. Looks like the best naan in Austin now that Bismillah no longer exists. Served piping hot with a bit of ghee drizzled on top.

Dal Fry: [drool].... This is one of those items... so tasty that it seems like it ran out before you even sat down. The best dal in Austin that I've had. Such a rich flavor.... I can still picture it on my toungue. [still drooling]

[still drooling]

Palak Paneer: There are two general categories of palak paneer that I've had. One has very creamy spinch (i.e. with added cream or yogurt), such that it's taken on an almost light green color. [drooling starting to end] The other kind doesn't have this creaminess, so it's left with the normal forest green color. I usually like the second one the most. Well, Shalimar has the first one.... but, I guess I was pulled into the dark side, because it was still pretty good. Actually, it was really good. The paneer within was of decent quality, as well.

Last but not least, I had looked forward to having a paan after my meal, but I heard that the normal paan guy has been sick. Let's hope he has a speedy recovery.

[drooling basically finished]

So, an excellent visit it was. Worthy of future exploration, for sure!

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You're ordering the wrong things in Shalimar. Order the following:

Bihari Kabab
Mutton Biriyani
Hyedarabadi Chicken Korma
Sheek Kebab
If I were not vegetarian, I might.
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