The default setting is two restaurants per column, but it can be just one if a place is interesting enough, or if Chow, Baby gets on a rant about something or other, or if it senses its readers would really rather hear more moonings over its new widdle snuggums. Chow, Baby is all about reader service.
This week was shaping up as Loophole B. Keyboard afire, Chow, Baby quickly filled up its allotted space with a tirade on the appalling service and inconsistent dishes that it and gift-from-the-gods received the previous night at Nine Pan Asian Cuisine, 4625 Donnelly Av. A good day’s work done, Chow, Baby settled back with the remaining two-thirds of its coffee and its favorite newspaper, which fell open to that week’s Eats article … on the “masterful,” “impressive,” “uniformly delicious” Nine Pan Asian Cuisine. But for a couple of “tad too much”-type disclaimers, it was a rave review.
Huh. Chow, Baby must have caught Nine Pan on an off night. And apparently once again forgot to read the “What We’re Running Next Week” e-mails that editors send around so they don’t have to nag their writers about attending staff meetings or showing up in the office on occasion. Editors are so lazy. They also have no appreciation for romance, as shown by the speedy rejection of Chow, Baby’s second draft, which exploited Loophole C for a few hundred treacly words. Out of tangents, Chow, Baby decided (well, it was really a group decision) that it might as well do its job.
Bombay Bistro (9116 Camp Bowie West #100) is next door to a Kroger and close enough to Loop 820 to smell the gas fumes, but that’s the end of any annoyances. Inside is quick-casual (that’s a step up from fast-food) elegance: bronze-painted walls, real art, Indian hip-hop on the stereo, enthusiastic counter workers, and a luscious, exotic aroma. Oh, and free try-before-you-buy samples. Lovely, lovely.
Though it’s been open only a few weeks, Bombay Bistro is not committing the newbie error of making the portions too large for the price. We ordered three main dishes, planning for romantic-midnight-snack leftovers, but in just a few bites devoured the buttery makhani, spicy madras, and mild, creamy korma curries ($6.96-$9.95 depending on meat choice, with rice, salad, and bread). The entrées were just fine – well, the chicken was a tad dry – but it’s the little touches that make Bombay Bistro a delight: the perfectly seasoned lamb samosa appetizer ($3.95), the fresh-made mint chutney, and especially the yogurt-tingly, not-too-sweet mango lassi ($2.50).
And as if it couldn’t get any better: dessert (each $2.45). Lots of experimenting led to this discovery: First savor a spoonful of velvety mango-rice pudding (works better if somebody else feeds it to you), swallow, savor a spoonful of pistachio ice cream, swallow, wait for it, wait for it … Wham! It’s like the aroma of a whole rose bush is suddenly concentrated in your mouth. Amazing, because there’s no rose hint in either the pudding or the ice cream. It’s one of those rare instances of two essences coming together and creating something all new, breathtakingly wonderful, even, yes, magical. More on snuggums next week.
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