Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Restaurant Review: Azitra & Fresh @ 5 Points

I decided to take a break from the typical cooking blog to do a little restaurant reviewing. First is Azitra, an Indian restaurant located in Briar Creek and second is dessert-Fresh, a local frozen yogurt shop in 5 points.

My husband and I have been to Azitra a couple of times now, and it is just good enough to keep us coming back. Raleigh, so far, is very lacking when it comes to Indian cuisine. I have found that it is either bland, looks questionable, or has no balance-all heat and no richness of flavor. Azitra, located in the Briar Creek shopping center, is by no means your Chili's, Applebee's, or Japanese Steakhouse. It is a unique experience.

Azitra is definitely an "Americanized" Indian restaurant. The atmosphere can be a little confusing. As you enter through the front door, you are immediately hit with the wonderful scent of spices but looks as if you are walking into a night club. Tiled walls with angled lights and bright carpeting. However, as you pass the hostess stand, the booths and tables are covered in royal blue and white linens. Service is slow, it will take your waiter at least 10 minutes to come and take your drink order, yet you will see several service members standing around. There is a lovely woman, dressed in a sari whose one job is to serve you water. I came up with the conclusion that it must be to give you enough time to come up with all of your "What is this?" questions....

Once you put your order in, it comes to you relatively quickly. I ordered the lamb vindaloo, lamb in a garlic and vinegar marinade. The lamb was melt in your mouth, but had to get a side of chili sauce to spice it up more. A seemingly perk to this restaurant is they have you rate how spicy you want it on a scale from 1-5. However, sometimes a 3 is perfect and sometimes it can send your tongue retreating for air. My husband ordered the lamb Rogan Josh, and the lamb with chili-yogurt sauce was equally as tender. Served family style with Basmati rice, we were able to share. The naan is fantastic. Soft bread pillows, you will want to eat a whole basket by yourself. The only thing I do wish came with the meal was some sort of vegetable. The entrees range from $13-30...I don't think a side of veg would be unreasonable. I do wish the service was better though.....

And now for dessert! Close to my house there is a new frozen yogurt hot spot. Nestled in the tiny 5 Points strip, it is near other local favorites: Lilly's Pizza and Third Place coffee shop. A crop of frozen yogurt places have popped up all over the place, but they are not all one in the same. Fresh serves frozen yogurt and ice cream made from local milk. They offer several ice creams and 6 rotating frozen yogurt flavors. I always go for the plain-not as sweet and tangy...you know like yogurt. Also fat free, so I order a medium with strawberries and ginger snaps. I could eat this ev-er-y day.

Azitra Indian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

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