House of India
An Anne & Steve review
Bollyweird - Background music for your reading enjoyment by Steve Gabe
One boring day at work my friends were discussing their favorite Indian restaurants in NYC. The Brick Lane Curry House on E. 6th Street kept coming up because they serve "Phall" a curry so hot if you finish the dish you are entered into the P'Hall of Fame, get a certificate and a free drink. Indian food should always be so fun and exotic and on our trip to House of India in Pittsfield we were pleasantly surprised with the extreme heat from the Vindaloo and I wonder if they might begin a similar Phall trend up in our parts to steam up the winter months? There is a transformative effect one has when eating "hot" foods mostly different sensations throughout the head region not just the signature burning of the tongue. The effects which are my favorites are of the tearing and sniffling variety followed by exclamations of "Oh Boy!" and such. The very best effect is the tingling on the very top of your head and when you get that you've reached spicy nirvana. When i spotted the Lamb Vindaloo on the menu (or chicken or fish) listed "For the very brave at heart - very spicy, very special." I knew it was for me.
The extremely nice and patient waitress informed us that if you want your dishes a certain way just ask for it either 1) mild 2) medium-hot 3) very hot or 4) super hot but I never trust that. How do you know what I want? Spicy means something different from one person to another. For reviewing purposes how can I recommend something when it's a variable? No. I had to order the dish the way is comes. I've never been comfortable asking for a dish to be cooked this way or that way because who knows what way it'll come back? She offered to bring out some hot sauce on the side so we could make it as spicy as we wanted and this wasn't tickling my urge for a spicy sensation experience. I defiantly said "Non, I want the Lamb Vindaloo for I am the brave at heart!"
Well the vindaloo sauce was excellent and the hot sauce on the side not so much. Victory was mine! The vindaloo lamb dish was exquisitely hot and spicy hitting all the right notes all the way around my head and though the top. What a flavorful mixture this is; not just hot but special as advertised. The lamb was fresh and tasty as well. With no worry about what you are going to get go Vindaloo.
Anne had the Sultani (Chicken with ginger) and that was a nice gingery delight. In addition we had two more vegetarian dishes: the Gobhi Palak a perfect combination of delicious spiced florets of cauliflower and Indian spinach; and the fried eggplant-Bharta which were both fresh and good accompaniments to the Lamb and Chicken but lacked the pizzazz of either of those two. Next time we'll ask for a little extra kick in the dishes.
The Garlic Naan was very good as was the Papadam which had an unusually peppery spice to it and was a great starter with the four dipping sauces - tamarind, mint chutney, spiced onion and the side of hot sauce.
We washed all this great food down with a highly recommended 22 oz. lager called Flying Horse Royal Lager. This is a great beer that really puts out the fire.
We really enjoyed our meal at the House of India and they have many dishes to try as well as the usual Samosas and Pakoras. This is really a "Jewel in the Crown" of Pittsfield dining.
They also have a nice buffet set up Monday though Saturday 11:30 a.m. - 3p.m. as well as on holidays such as New Years Eve $19.95 buffet per person 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. We liked this place very much.
House of India