March 29, 2010

First Night Out in The Spring

Posted in food restaurants, silver spring businesses tagged , , , , , , , , at 10:31 am by silversprung

This past weekend, we experienced something new. For the first time since our move, we had the time, the energy, and (most unusually) the very real desire to leave our new house for a break. So we ventured out for a quick dinner in downtown Silver Spring.

Silversprung spouse and I decided that we wanted Indian food, and since we still don’t yet have regular Internet or a phone book, we drove downtown in the hopes that we would spot some type of Indian cuisine. We came across Planet Bollywood, so we checked out the menu. SSspouse peered through the tinted glass to make certain people were eating there (my litmus test- I will never be the first table seated if we’re trying somewhere new) and we took a chance on it.First, it took us forever to get served and get water, but our server, who turned out to be owner Stanley Gomes, informed us that the place was new, so we gave them some sympathy. Hearing that a place is new usually makes me wary, but Gomes was really kind.

To start off, their wine and beer selection was long and really affordable. They even had champagne for $22-$32 a bottle.

Samosas were semi-hot, but the accompanying coriander sauce was amazing- really thick and fresh. I think it was the best coriander sauces I’d ever had at an Indian restaurant. Gomes later informed us that all the sauces are made on site. Their meat quality was also fantastic.

Other than that, the meal was okay. The fact that it used to be an Italian restaurant (and still has mussels and fettucine on the menu!) is likely to put off newcomers, but Gomes said the Italian regulars still asked for it.

We’ll be going back. Maybe for happy hour, maybe for dinner. It’s located right across from AFI, which makes it an ideal “meet up” place for us.

Gomes told us that Bombay Gaylord is the other Indian restaurant downtown. One day, we’ll check that out too.

Anyone out there eaten at either?

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9 Comments »

  1. Tony G said,

    In our experience, avoid Bombay Gaylord and go directly to Ghar-E-Kabab. It is Indian and Nepalese. It is stuck in a little strip on busy Wayne Ave, but the food is excellent. PLUS, they deliver.
    http://www.gharekabab.com

  2. Bill said,

    Thanks for the review of Bollywood – I’ve wanted to try it out. If you like Indian food, you should check out Ghar E Kabob on Wayne Ave. The menu is split between Indian and Nepalese food, and it’s quite good.

  3. Eric said,

    My wife and I love Bombay Gaylord. We usually start with the lentil soup and papri chat, I usually get the tandoori chicken or chicken tikka. Both are always good, well seasoned, nice and moist. My wife loves some of the vegetarian dishes including the Shahi Paneer and the Saag Paneer. Their rice is fantastic as well as a couple of the breads (onion and garlic are our favorites).

    I am not sure how far that area is from you, but there are a few great restaurants around there. The Greek Place is a great place for takeout Greek and Olazzo is our favorite DTSS restaurant and you have to try the Quarry House Tavern for great burgers and tatter tots, unbelievable beer list and fried pickles. All of these restaurants are in a one block area on Georgia Avenue.

    Eric

  4. Steve said,

    Hey Sprung, welcome to the community of Silver Spring bloggers! Thanks for your post on Planet Bollywood (a terrible name and I’m surprised that they haven’t been sued). PB has actually been around a little while so I wouldn’t call them “new” exactly, but equally I haven’t managed to get there myself since they opened.
    The best Indian restaurant in town is probably Ghar-E-Kebab on Wayne Ave (http://www.gharekabab.com/). I definitely believe it sets the standard for Silver Spring indian meals, and they do a fairly efficient delivery as well.
    Look forward to hearing more from you.

    • silversprung said,

      Thanks all for the Ghar-E-Kebab suggestion!! We’ll definitely have to check that out!

      I’m curious- what’s everyone’s go-to dish to measure Indian food? I always judge a restaurant by its Rogan Josh- SSspouse rates them by their Lamb Vindaloo.

      • Steve said,

        I tend to go with the Chicken Tikka Misala as my bench mark – if an Indian restaurant can’t get that right it’s kind of like a TexMex joint not being able to do steak fajitas.

  5. Agree with Steve – if try Chiken Tikka – than a no-go for me.
    I like both Bombay Gaylord – esp their lunch buffet and Ghar E Kabob for a nicer dinner – though wish they had a bigger space and some outdooe seating – wouldn’t it be great if they could move into that vacant bottomn space at nearby Crescent building?

    I like the name Planet Bollywood actually but will not go back after going twice and having my business dinner conversations interrupted more than 20 times – it started to become a very uncomprtable running joke – I like attentive service, but triple-teaming the table and asking how we are doing after each bite/sip is not pleasant.

    • silversprung said,

      I went against my standard and did order Chicken Tikka Masala. It was delicious! Full of a smokey, oven flavor, and the sauce wasn’t heavy on yogurt. It was light. Lots of fresh veggies too.

  6. Kate said,

    We have been more in love with vegetarian Udupi Palace and to a lesser extent, their non-veg sibling, Tiffin on University Boulevard. Worth the trip or the takeout taxi fee.


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