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INDIA GRILL

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If consistency is the hallmark of success for a restaurant, then it's a wonder the India Grill is still in business. I used to think it was terrible, and refused to go. Lucky for them, there aren't a ton of Indian options in central Portland so I was forced to try it again. This time, it was so good, I craved it the whole next week. I suppose that's just the nature of greasy-but-good takeout.

If I were you, I would avoid the appetizers altogether. Instead, get an extra order of the Naan bread. Or better yet, order the Aloo Kulcha, which is a bread that's stuffed with potatoes and peas, kind of like the samosa, only cheaper and fresher. The Puri is also good; it's a whole wheat bread that's deep-fried.

They are pretty accommodating at the India Grill. Even though it's not on the menu, they always make me the Alu Mattar Paneer, which is a combination of the Alu Mattar with the Mattar Paneer. It's sweet, creamy, and spicy. The Palak Paneer is good, too; pureed spinach with cubed cheese may not look very appetizing, but it's a great change from the standard curries.

The Chicken Tikka Masala is a reliable standby, never failing to satisfy. The Lamb Vandalu is usually nice and tender, and a welcome change if you continually order chicken.

If you're placing a big order, get an extra helping of curry. Then place it in your fridge for the next day. There's nothing better in the world than cold curry, with the fieriness of the sauce balanced by the frigid temperature. Also, the Raita is a yogurt condiment that's cool and refreshing. It helps heal the tongue when you order the Chicken Tikka Masala extra spicy. MANU BERELLI

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