Tuesday, September 18, 2012

#CLEfood - Priya Indian Restaurant

Recently I purchased a dining deal for a new Indian restaurant on the west side called Priya. The deal was for 1 appetizer, 2 soups or salads, 2 entrees and a dessert for $25. Sounded like it was too good to be true. Was it?

The restaurant is in an aging strip mall but once you go inside,  you can tell that it's been updated. And it's HUGE! All around the perimeter is a double row of booths. There is also a large bar off to one side and a ton of space in the middle of the restaurant. It's colorful and cheery but when we went there was no music. Now I am not a fan of blaring music while I'm eating but the lack of ANY music was strange. We also had an odd Caucasian waiter that was sort of spacey and not very knowledgeable. And slow.

Priya, Indian restaurant, cleveland
Complimentary papadum was served with assorted chutneys.
indian, papadum
Our shared appetizer was Samosa Chat - one of our favorites - and this one was delicious!
indian food, samosa chat, cleveland restaurant
Samosa layered with a chickpea sauce and topped with Tamarind, 
Mint, Yogurt, chopped Cilantro and Chat Masala
They had two choices for soup: Rasam, a spicy hot and sour soup and Mulligatawny, a mild lentil and vegetable. We opted for the Mulligatawny because neither of us like hot and sour soup and the salad sounded lame. The soup was ok, but nothing special. Save the calories for something else.
mulligatawny soup, indian food, cleveland
Next up were our entrees. We decided to choose one vegetable based and one meat based dish and share. I always like to do this at Indian restaurants because the meat dishes don't normally have a lot of veggies, if any, in them. 
Priya indian restaurant cleveland
Our choices were good. We got garlic naan that disappeared so fast I forgot to take a picture. On the bottom left is our veggie entree - Avial (potatoes, carrots, banana and drumstick with coconut.) We asked for an explanation of the "drumstick" prior to ordering and never could figure it out. It's some sort of plant stalk that I don't think is edible, but it had an interesting flavor. And I don't think there was banana in there either. But it was really good!
avial, indian restaurant, vegetarian food
The "drumstick" is the green log in this picture. It's tough and likely used just for flavor.
For our chicken dish, we ordered Tikka Masala, one of our favorites to order. I think we ordered both dishes 5 on the spicy scale and that was perfect. Nobody got hurt but it had a nice tingle.

We ordered a mango lassi too and it was fabulous! I love how it cools your tastebuds and was just the perfect level of sweetness. If our dining deal didn't include dessert, it would have been the perfect ending to our meal.

They were out of our first choice for dessert (kheer) which is an Indian style rice pudding so we chose an unusual carrot based dessert. Not bad, but we weren't fighting over it. The cardamom gave it an unexpected but interesting flavor.
kheer, carrot dessert
Grated carrots cooked in milk and sugar, flavored with cardamom and garnished with raisins & nuts
Overall, besides the weird and slow service and the bland soup, everything was good. I would definitely like to go back again sometime. They have lunch buffets during the week and on the weekend, plus one on Wednesday nights. 

Was the deal a good one? YES! We were happy and stuffed when we left, plus we had leftovers for lunch the next day for only $25. Even at full price, the most expensive entrees are only $14.99. 

They have a really nice website that has descriptions of the food. I recommend studying up online before dining in case you get the goofy waiter.


  1. Thanks for the tip about the Wednesday buffet. I've been dying to find one with a dinner buffet in Cleveland. I love Indian, and need to expose Rick to more dishes. Buffet is the way to sample lots! P.S. can we make an Indian date?

  2. Like what Bite Buff said, it's good to know they offer a Wednesday night buffet. Most places only offer buffets during the day! I definitely want to go some Wednesday night. It's the perfect way to try many dishes!

  3. Let's all meet there! It might be hard to win me away from India Garden, but it'll be fun trying! :-)


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