Saturday, March 14, 2009


There are a lot of Indian restaurants in Cambridge. I think we've tried most of them and they're all really good but I think we might have a new favorite. Sorry Punjabi Dhaba but we've got a new go-to spot for Indian food.

Just a couple blocks down in Inman Square from Punjabi Dhaba, the famous "Indian Highway-Side Cafe", is Haveli (owned by the same restaurant group). The food at Haveli is every bit as good as Punjabi Dhaba, if not better (and that's really saying something), but the atmosphere is a hundred times better (no exageration), you don't have to eat off a metal cafeteria tray (we always get take out due to this and the limited seating), there's free parking in back and they take credit cards. Punjabi only accepts cash and the only ATM near there is Bank of America which now charges $3 if you don't have your account with them so I refuse to use it.

We ordered take-out from Haveli the other day and it was ready in 10 minutes and cost less than most of the other places in our area. It was so good we decided to go back with some friends for dinner last night. We made a reservation but didn't really need to, even on a Friday night. We had a fabulous dinner made up of chicken tikka masala, chicken vindaloo, aloo mattar (peas and potatoes), palak paneer (spinach and cheese), naan and poori. If you've never had poori you should really try it. It' sort of a giant puffed up bread that I recently learned is made by floating it on a pot of hot oil and the cook continuously splashes more oil on the top of it while it puffs up to the size of a football.

All of our dishes were amazing. They have a cheap wine list from which I ordered a glass of pinot noir but it was only mediocre. That was really my only complaint. We have some family coming in to town for a visit this week so that might be a good excuse to go back again--hey, Indian people eat it every day right?

Here are the other Indian restaurants we've tried and liked in Cambridge:

-Cafe of India, Harvard Square, a little more expensive but great atmosphere
-India Castle, right by our house, has a great lunch buffet 7 days a week for $7.95
-India Pavilion, Central Square, great combination of taste, service, price, decor.

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