Taj Mahal had everything we needed last night, in the first cold and rainy night of the season. Something fried: check. Vegan entrées: check. Meaty options (though I wouldn’t have admitted that to Sarah): check. Close to home: check. I cannot say whether the food at my girlfriend-dinner go-to in the north campus area is authentic, but I can say that it met my needs for the evening.
Taj Mahal does things with traditional American diners in mind, and is upscale in nature. As a result, their service is incredible and their prices are a little more expensive than what you’ll find at less equipped restaurants in the area. The restaurant boasts a full bar (a separate room that looks like any other student hangout on campus, but cleaner), a patio, ample seating for parties of all sizes and a staff that goes out of the way to serve.
We started out with samosas. Fresh from the fryer and served with a sweet tamarind sauce and a spicy cilantro sauce (with yogurt), these samosas were the best I’ve had in a long time. (Not too spicy, and not soggy.) Our server made it a point to tell us that the cilantro sauce contained dairy after I asked if their samosas were vegan. Imagine her surprise when my entrée contained lamb.
I ordered Keema Lamb for $15. Our server explained that because the lamb was ground, rather than served in chunks, it carries the spices differently than the other lamb dishes (mixed in, versus on the sides). The large portion (easily two servings) was, simply, delicious. Minced lamb, peas, boiled egg, a little turmeric and handful of other spices warmed me up. (We were offered various levels of heat; I chose mild, and was pleased with my choice.) My only complaint is that my spicy cilantro sauce disappeared along with the empty samosa plates. My taste buds craved a little tang with the Keema.
Sarah ordered Mushroom Mutter (for $13) and enjoyed hers, as well. (I was too busy shoving my face to ask for a bite of hers.) We also received rice and an order of garlic naan.
I could eat their garlic naan every day for the rest of my life.
I like this place. It meets my needs and I’m never let down. I just wish that I would remember Taj Mahal more frequently when I’m in one of those “I don’t want to leave the neighborhood” moods. And I do have a suggestion, a wish. As winter clearly approaches, I know I will have some “I don’t want to leave the house” moods. Weekend daytime hours and delivery would be nice. Ahem.
2321 North High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43202