Mantra- An Indian Exploration

So my first of 20 new restaurant reviews starts with a place down the street called Mantra. I’ve only tried a few bites of Indian food before, and I was a bit scared, but I wanted to try something new.

Andrew and I had a paper menu from this place and it got great reviews on eatability. It actually had a chicken breast dish (yay) which NO Indian places have. I was stoked about that. Dishes were about 13-15 bucks and that’s not?too bad (compared to everything else around here) so we thought, what the heck- let’s try it.

So we go to the VERY ornately decorated place and thought “this place is really cute.” Looked like?a fun?party place. Tons of Indian decor, cool lamps, pillows and mirrors. Very fun atmosphere- but not many diners. So…we sat down and looked at the menu.

Our next reaction:

WTF???? The same dish that cost $13 in the paper menu we looked at?was now $22 bucks. A lamb dish that was $13 on the menu was now $24 bucks. THATS $9-$11 MORE PER DISH.

Seriously though… W.? T.? F. ???

We asked the waitress what was up?and she said “oh the paper menu has takeout prices”.

Like that was no big deal. Like she thought it was ok to add THAT much to their freaking food prices just to sit and be served.?I could see tacking on 1-2 bucks for dine in service, but unless Jude law is?my server, I cannot see how they can?add?9-11 to each item??? We quickly told her we wouldn’t be eating in, instead we’d get takeaway.

So anyways, we then go to place our order with a man at the front?and?try to confirm?that the dish I wanted was, in fact, chicken breast.

“Oh no Indian food only uses thigh meat”

“Well, yes, that is the problem we have found in the past, but the reason we came HERE is because on your menu it specifically says breast”.

So he goes to check… and nope, no breast meat option. Why do I always seem to have this problem at retarded restaurants around here? Good thing I didn’t order it- I may have had to relive THIS experience.

UGH, this place?was going downhill fast. I just ordered a veggie dish- Navrattan Korma?and andrew got some Beef Vindaloo. We got a special combo?that came with Naan bread, Pappadams and rice as well as an entree (appetizer) of Chapate Alootiki (potato patties with herbs, sauces and other stuff piled on).

We took it home, put it in some bowls and dug right in. It was fine, that’s about all?I can say. Oh- except the Naan bread. THAT WAS FABULOUS. Reminded me a bit of a thicker El Torito Grill tortilla but with garlic. SOOOO yummy. That was by far my favorite part of the whole meal. Andrew’s meat was a bit overcooked and his “spicy” Vindaloo?sauce wasn’t really spicy.

Mine wasn’t bad but they?literally got some frozen bag of veggies and dumped it in a sauce. No joke, little pieces of peas, carrots and cauliflower in some sauce. Super oily as well, but that’s how all Indian food is I guess.?Not really worth $13 to me- and?DEFINITELY NOT WORTH $22 (unless of course Jude Law was our waiter). The appetizer was actually pretty good though, probably my second favorite part of the whole meal.

I really can’t understand how this place got such AMAZING reviews. It wasn’t bad food, but it wasn’t anything I’d really love to have again (except the Naan).

So here’s my final review out of 5 stars:

Decor: 4 (it was cute but a little too much)

Value: 1 star to eat in, 4 to eat out (the combo was a good deal)

Taste: 3 stars (with a special 5 star shout out to the Naan bread)

Would we go back? Probably not… too many other Indian restaurants with no chicken breast to try.

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