Monday, March 19, 2012


Sometimes I just get a craving that I cannot shake. This happened to be the case recently with Indian food. My usual go-to is Mother India, but it was a Monday, so it was closed. But then I remembered there is another Indian restaurant, tucked away on the Mileground: Saffron.

So a friend and I ventured to the Mileground to quench this craving. Saffron is, luckily, open on Monday. The restaurant is quite small, with a handful of booths and tables. To my dismay, the buffet was not available. We arrived at around 8 p.m., and they are open until 10 p.m., but I suppose we were too late. That's okay - I know my favorite dishes anyway.

Our waiter brought us waters and menus. It was honestly quite different ordering off a menu in an Indian restaurant - I've really only tackled the buffet. But they had appetizers, vegetarian dishes, chicken dishes, seafood dishes and others. I scanned the menu until I found "chicken tikka masala," one of my favorite all-time dishes. This dish is boneless chicken, simmered in onions, bell peppers and tomatoes, all in a creamy sauce. At Saffron, you get to choose how spicy you want your dish on a scale of 0 to 10. I opted for a 2. I know, I know, not crazy adventurous. But, hey, I don't like super spicy things, and I want to really enjoy my meal.

I unfolded the fancy napkin and waited. The dining area has some interesting decorations, like a sculpted elephant head on the wall and some art made out of fabrics. A curtain hid the entryway to the restrooms. It wasn't indulgent and decadent with golds and reds, but it was simple, with a few luxurious touches.

My food arrived in two small dishes - one with the basmati rice and the other full of chicken tikka masala. I scooped some of each onto my plate - the delicious, mouth-watering smell alone was enough to give this dish an A. The dish has a very creamy, curry-based sauce. Big chunks of tender roasted chicken soak up the goodness. It had an amazing blend of spices and flavors - cumin, paprika, lemon, cilantro - just fantastic.

I also ordered the kheer for dessert, which is basically a rice pudding. It, too, was creamy in a sweet, light way. The food was delicious. It was a bit pricey - $20 for a main dish and a small dessert - but it really was delicious. I'll need to double-check their buffet times, though, as that may be the more cost-efficient way to go.

Grade: A
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