Due to the extreme Central Texas heat and, well, excessive laziness we haven’t blogged much recently. But now that summer’s coming to a close (it’s only gonna be hot for 3 or 4 more months, right?), our work reviewing trailers begins anew.
We decided to assess the Indian fare at G’Raj Mahal on Red River. Coot and Shar are both educators and had actually received G’Raj gift cards from thoughtful parents who read the blog.
Translucent gift cards! How cool is that?
My first thought about G’Raj Mahal is that it’s really less of a trailer eatery and more of an outdoor restaurant. White gauze hangs from the sides of a shady pavilion while waiters serve chow to patrons at small round tables. They also have misters to beat the heat! But don’t fret, trailer fans, there’s an Airstream-esque trailer where food is prepared.
The breezy pavilion at G'Raj.
Shar started things off right by ordering a rose-flavored Lassi. I was certain that an overprotective collie was going to show up at our table with her owner Timmy, but it turns out that Lassi is a traditional Pujabi yogurt-based drink. It was a little on the chalky side, but still cool and refreshing on a day with temperatures in the triple digits. Meanwhile, Coot and I stuck to the drink of champions: Topo Chico.
This is not the famous dog Lassie.
We enjoyed our libations with mouthwatering spiced potato and pea samosas. For the uninitiated, a samosa is a pastry that is stuffed and then deep fried – I ask you, what’s not to like? The samosas came with tamarind (holy yum!) and mint (meh.) chutneys.
Deep fried deliciousness? I think yes.
The samosas arrived at our table with a creation that I had never hear of: Papri Chaat. Papri Chaat is a chilled sweet and sour potato salad served with fried naan wafers and veggies. Shar ordered the chaat and reports that as a first-time experience it was interesting and quite tasty, but that it wouldn’t necessarily make her list of favorites.
Holy chaat! This was one unique little salad.
Let’s get to the good stuff, shall we?
- Lamb Kashmiri – Kashmiri is a creamy sauce with apples, raisins, cashews. Shar ordered the mild version and she commented that not unlike Papri Chaat, the Kashmiri wasn’t entirely attractive. But looking like baby poo does not necessarily mean that something will taste like baby poo (sometimes it does though, so watch out). In fact, the Kashmiri was quite appetizing.
Sweet and savory, yet aesthetically unappealing.
- Beef Makhani – Makhani is a creamy butter and tomato sauce. Coot kicked his curry up a notch and ordered it the medium version.
Rice and curry. Simple pleasures.
I (Franzia) ordered:
- Tikka Masala with Chicken – Tikka Masala is my go-to curry at new Indian restaurants. I order it frequently because a) it’s a flavorful party for your mouth and b) it’s a hard thing to screw up. I also chose the medium curry power. I like a little spice, but not so much that I sweat or feel ill afterwards. That’s what overeating is for.
Excuse the mess. Like a child, I didn't finish my peas.
The curries were served with heaping bowls of basmati rice. We also ordered plain naan (a popular Indian flatbread) and stuffed paneer (a type of cheese) naan. Both were sensationally good.
Blurry picture. I was too food-focused to focus my camera.
After our filling entrees, we decided it was time for dessert in the form of Indian Beignets. Beignets are my among my favorite desserts in the world (they join a long list that includes sopapillas, gelato from Perche No in Florence, dark chocolate, and Amy’s Mexican Vanilla ice cream). While the Indian Beignets were essentially identical to their Cajun cousins, I still found them to be nothing short of outstanding. The dough was fluffy and fried to perfection. I. Loved. It.
Indian Beignets could bring a lasting peace to the Middle East. We should let Barack and Hillary know.
In the end, our G’Raj Mahal experience proved to be a feast of magnificent proportions. The food was a bit pricey for trailer grub, but I’d say it’s totally worth it. The G’Raj website is under construction, but I suggest checking them out on Facebook or heading down to Red River! The folks at G’Raj stay open until midnight on weekdays and 3:00 a.m. on weekend nights. Oh, and did I mention that it’s BYOB?
- Post by Franzia // Contact us at email@example.com
ETA: Holy chaat! I forgot to tell y’all two very important things!
1) G’Raj Mahal is an easy walk from Lustre Pearl, where we’ll be gathering next Saturday for an afternoon of booze and tacos. For details, check Facebook.
2) One of the coolest things about G’Raj is that it’s where the Austin Bike Zoo stores some of it’s, ahem, larger animals. Check out the rattlesnake we found!
The venomous bike snake stalks its prey.