Friday, September 7, 2012
Frugal Floozie Friday - Curry Up
My friend Ingrid Ault had been watching Curry Up, on Nixon Road, as zealously as I had, waiting desperately for this new restaurant, which serves Indian street food, to open.
Well, apparently so had much of the city. Each time I go by now, and when Ingrid and I shared a fabulous dinner there recently, the place has been filled with diners and also busy with take-out customers. And with good reason - the service is friendly, and the food is exceptional!
Ultimately, Ingrid ordered the Pani Puri, pictured above, for $4.79. These are described simply as "Hollow puris filled with Potatoes & Spicy Tangy Water," a woefully inadequate synopsis for a dish with so much flavor. The crisp puri - the small spheres - are light, and let the flavor of the filling come through distinctly. The tangy water - which you drizzle into the center of the puri - is tamarind-based, and there are two different dipping sauces for creating even more complex flavor combinations. Eight puris make a great meal for one or a snack for two.
I ordered the Vada and Sambhar - "Lentil Dumplings served with CURRY UP Sambhar" - for $4.99. I love this dish, and have even bought inferior frozen varieties at times, just to have a stash on hand for when cravings strike. The dumplings are somewhat reminiscent of dense, savory doughnuts; the sauce is spicy, but not too hot. It's simple comfort food.
Ingrid also ordered the Mysore Masala dosa, a "Crepe Layered Inside with Onion & Coconut Chutneys." To say that the dosa was enormous is quite the understatement! At $7.99, this is a great deal to split with a loved one; even the heartiest appetite couldn't finish it alone. The crepe is stuffed, adding to its substance; and it is also served with the Sambhar sauce, in addition to the listed chutneys.
My other choice was the Samosas, two for $2.49: "Deep Fried Pastry stuffed with Potatoes & Peas." These are very large - the size of a tennis ball - and generously filled. The samosas are expertly fried, very crisp but not at all greasy. You'll want to share, because they're so good; but you'll also be tempted to savor them both yourself, for the very same reason.
There are lots of dishes that cost $5 or less as a whole, as well as others that are easily split to come in under our $5 per person budget. Many, many dishes are vegetarian; those that aren't are made with Halal chicken. Snacks, such as pappadam are available; and you can also find substantial items like wraps and sandwiches, as well as beverages and entrees.
Ingrid and I had enjoyed our meal immensely, so leftovers were fairly scarce. But we did have a lot of the sauces left, which I hated to waste. I asked if I could have small take-out containers for them, so that I could put them to good use at home. Whereas I was once - at a different restaurant - treated as a bit of a kook for this behavior, the staff at Curry Up was more than happy to help me pack things up. (See this coming Wednesday's AnnArbor.com post for the chickpea dish I made with the Sambhar sauce.)
Curry Up is a most welcome addition to the Plymouth Road corridor, offering great food, friendly service, and excellent prices!
2711 Plymouth Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
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