On a rainy October evening after fighting through rush-hour traffic, do you really want to go home and cook?
I didn’t. So I decided to try out an Everett restaurant suggested by my co-worker Janice Podsada — Tasty Indian Bistro — who had raved about it.
When one of her out-of-town friends came back for a visit, it was the first place he wanted to go — and pronto!
The restaurant is tucked away in a rather nondescript strip development on W Casino Road. When my GPS took me to another small roadway development across the street, Podsada, who was joining me for dinner, told me just to look for the 76 gas station.
It’s a great landmark for the restaurant on a dark, rainy night.
I love Indian food and wanted to try a new dish. So as I looked over the nine appetizers, one jumped out — the samosa chaat, a potato-filled pastry topped with yogurt, chickpeas and chutney ($4).
What was it exactly about this appetizer that seemed so utterly delightful? The chutney certainly was a nice accent to a dish whose bountiful flavors left me trying hard to demonstrate proper dining manners and not scoop up more than my share of a second serving.
That, with another appetizer or a bowl of soup, could be a filling meal for anyone looking for something a little different than the traditional rice-plus-main-course offering found in Indian restaurants in America.
In fact, that’s what Podsada said she plans to do the next time she comes.
For entrees, she chose the butter chicken, boneless chicken in a buttery tomato sauce ($11).
She said it was just the way she liked the sauce — rich and creamy and not too tomato-y.
It has a very smooth but spicy flavor, she said, ordering a spiciness heat level of “2” on the restaurant’s scale of 1-5.
“Butter chicken reminds me of a spicier version of my Hungarian mother-in-law’s chicken paprikash, so it’s hard for me to pass up,” she said.
I ordered the navrattan korma, vegetables simmered in a tomato-based gravy ($10). To anyone who hasn’t had a lot of experience with Indian cooking, they do take their spiciness levels seriously here. I loved it, but again for novices, ask for guidance from the staff on the spiciness/heat level you prefer.
I opted for the tandoori roti ($1.50), a whole wheat bread baked in a tandoori oven used in Indian cooking.
Podsada suggests rounding up as many diners as you can to visit Tasty Indian Bistro. “Tell them it’s family style,” she said, so that you can sample as many dishes as possible.
The restaurant has been open about 15 months, over which time it’s built a loyal following. Some customers make a special trip from Seattle and others send thank you emails.
It’s family owned, with daughter Rajdeep Kaur helping out front with her father, Amarjit Aujla, the owner and chef.
Two things the restaurant strives for is producing authentic northern Indian food at reasonable prices, Kaur said. “The prices are lower than other places in town,” she said. “I want customers to realize the quality is there, too.”
If a customer is new to Indian food “we like to explain about the taste and some of the ingredients that go into it to help them be more adventurous,” she said. The food doesn’t have to be spicy/hot to be tasty.
Its interior is no-frills, opening in the site of a former teriyaki restaurant. Yet it’s obviously a popular neighborhood destination and with Boeing and other workers who jam it at lunch time for the buffet.
Simply put, this is one restaurant that lives up to its name: tasty.
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
What: Tasty Indian Bistro
Where: 510 W. Casino Road, Suite A, Everett
When: 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 9:30 p.m. Sunday
More: 425-267-2444 or www.tastybistroeverett.com