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!

There were many options that meet our mandatory $5 per person budget, so it was really hard to choose what to try first. We scoped out what others were eating, and Ingrid approached one group to find out what they'd ordered, seeking guidance to help narrow down the options. Before they left, they also came to visit our table and noted our recommendations. The atmosphere in this small restaurant was very warm, welcoming, and convivial.

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 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!

Curry Up
2711 Plymouth Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

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Curry Up on Urbanspoon


Unknown said...

Deep fried always wins out, doesn't it?

There are many Indian restaurants in Toronto, however, I don't know if any of them have this particular focus. I should investigate.

Bibi @ Bibi's Culinary Journey said...

Sounds delicious. I am not a big fan of spicy unlike my better half and both children so they would love it:-)

Lisa @ Snappy Gourmet said...

I'm not generally one for Indian food, but it all sounds really good!

Candace said...

Everything you tried looks wonderful. I am new to Indian food; but I have loved everything that I've ever tried. We need some more choices in this area for food and I vote for Indian and one that serves up some of the street food choices like this one does. Great review, Mary!

Judee @ Gluten Free A-Z said...

I love Indian food and especially the sauces. Everything looks divine to me.

Cranberry Morning said...

So many flavor combinations that are unfamiliar to me! And I could go for some of those samosas. Nice review! Wish we had an Indian restaurant in our neck of the woods.

BTW, I realize I've been AWOL for more than a week, but just wanted to say that your blog looks so crisp and tidy. Love the look, Mary.

Chris said...

I could eat every bit of that. I just wish the rest of my family shared my new found love of curry these past few years.

Debra Hawkins said...

This looks amazing! I have never eaten at an Indian restaurant or even Indian food in general really. It looks like I am missing out!

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