Friday, May 17, 2013
Frugal Floozie Friday - Cardamom
My dear friend Marcie joined Jeremy and me at Cardamom recently; Marcie and I had been counting down 'til it opened, and Jeremy was happy to share in the adventure of trying a brand spankin' new restaurant.
Marcie, unfortunately, suffers from numerous food allergies and intolerances; so Cardamom's menu - which provides a code indicating which items are vegetarian or vegan, which can be made gluten-free or vegan, which ones contain nuts or gluten - makes ordering much easier for those who need to be careful with their diets. Our waitress, Grace, was wonderfully helpful, too, in answering questions and checking with the kitchen to find out information about ingredients.
We ended up ordering an array of items from the lunch menu (available Tuesday - Friday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.) to try numerous dishes. The dinner menu is more extensive and costs a bit extra because of larger servings; the lunch menu offers some sandwiches and other quick items, as it is designed to facilitate a fast meal - but not typical "fast food" - for busy folks who need to get back to work for the afternoon.
The vegetarian thali (pictured above) costs only $10 and is absolutely generous enough for two, to meet our mandatory Frugal Floozie Friday budget of $5 per person. I ate a huge lunch from this platter, shared tastes, and still had enough food to bring home for another meal the next day. There were dishes of chickpeas, cauliflower, spinach, and lentils; rice and naan; chutney and pickles; and even dessert, the creamy and fragrant rice pudding.
All but one of the appetizers comes in under budget, so we ordered the Vegetable Pakora (left; potatoes, onions, spinach, and cauliflower) and Onion Bhaji (right) for $4 each. I could happily have made a lunch from either of these, or divvied them up to enjoy a plate of half-and-half. The fried fritters, dipped in a chickpea flour batter, come with both tamarind and mint chutneys for dipping, and were excellent.
A full serving of the cardamom-infused rice pudding costs $3.50. Jeremy ordered the Gulab Jamun - fried balls of dough in a sweet, rose-scented syrup - which also costs $3.50, and which he enjoyed immensely; I was fortunate to be given a small taste, to see how good they were.
You could also order a cup of soup for $3, a generously-portioned side salad for $4 (the lime vinaigrette, one of three choices for a dressing, was lovely and bright), one of the numerous beverages (the mango lassi for $3.50 was rich and creamy), or one of the luscious desserts (most of which come in under budget, or could easily be shared with a loved one).
I love Indian food, so it's wonderful to welcome another restaurant offering this fabulous cuisine!
1739 Plymouth Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Tuesday - Thursday: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., 5 - 10 p.m.
Friday - Sunday: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., 5 - 10:30 p.m.
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