Situated in an erstwhile chain sandwich shop just north of Grapevine’s decked-out downtown, the locally owned Currytos Indian Mexican Grill offers an intriguing combination of international food genres –– traditional Indian-style curries applied to Mexican favorites like burritos. A recent weekday lunchtime visit proved that this sparsely decorated start-up offers some marvelous flavor mash-ups, as long as you know how to order them.
The menu, posted in big letters over the counter, is short and simple in the manner of chain burrito shops like Freebirds and Qdoba. Like them, the setup is build-your-own meal. You can order three different kinds of entrées: a curryto, or Indian-spiced burrito, in a flour tortilla; a naked curryto, which offers the contents of a burrito in a plastic bowl; and an ensalada, which mixes the restaurant’s burrito ingredients in a bowl with veggies and shredded iceberg lettuce. There are three proteins –– chicken, steak, and mild, white Indian cheese called paneer –– as well as an all-veggie option that includes black beans, bell peppers, corn, onions, jalapeños, and black olives. The menu boasts six housemade curry-style sauces: tikka masala, vindaloo, biryani, red curry, korma, and Thai sweet and spicy. All dishes include generous portions of long-grain white rice. The combinations of ingredients and sauces ranged from decent to excellent, so it’s important to stop and think about how the flavors will work together before you order them.
The tortillas enfolding the currytos, both the steak and biryani version and the one with veggies and red curry, were thick, soft, hot, and stuffed to bursting with goodies. The mildly spicy skirt steak chunks and strips weren’t plentiful, but they were spiced just right and were juicy and tender. The strong taste of beef worked nicely with the thin, pale biryani sauce, which featured distinct but not hot hints of onion, garlic, and ginger. The veggie curryto was also very good. The thin pink-ish sauce, made with a coconut milk base, was more creamy and sweet than fiery, and it mixed marvelously with the crisp bell pepper slices and firm, hearty black beans.
Onward to two naked currytos, one with chicken and tikka masala, one with paneer and vindaloo. As with most Indian restaurants, the tikka masala sauce –– a cream-based tomato gravy with garlic and ginger –– was rich and decadent, and the large chunks of lean bird breast were just as delicious yet way more plentiful than the steak had been. The tomato sauce and chicken fused with the white rice to make a very satisfying, moderately hot comfort-food meal. The paneer curryto was also top-notch. The brown curry sauce was terrifically hot, with flavorful chiles and black pepper. The paneer consisted of firm, grilled cubes of housemade cheese whose flavor was a mild combo of nutty and dairy. Be forewarned: If you’re going to order paneer as an ingredient, it’s probably best to do it with a sauce as assertively spicy as the vindaloo. The biryani or red curry were so creamy and mellow, they’d probably only emphasize the blandness of the cheese.
You can assemble a distinctively tasty fast-food experience at Currytos easily, as long as you keep in mind the interplay of the ingredients. This is a fantastic little to-go innovation that should find a wide following –– if only the owners will make themselves and their grub more accessible. The 817 number that accompanies every Currytos’ listing online is incorrect, and getting an employee to answer even the correct line can be difficult.
Currytos Indian Mexican Grill
110 N Main St, Grapevine. 214-257-8226. 11am-8pm Mon-Fri, 11am-7pm Sat.
Curryto w/steak and biryani…………………………. $8.50
Curryto w/veggies and red curry………………….. $7
Naked curryto w/paneer and vindaloo…………… $8
Naked curryto w/chicken and tikka masala…….. $7.50