575 Talcottville Rd, Vernon Rockville, CT | Directions 0606641.852410 -72.483464
One of the Top Indian Restaurants East of the CT River – Now that Ambassador of India in Glastonbury is gone, it is probably the best Indian food within 30 minutes of Manchester. When I lived near there, I got to know the friendly owner who is a decent guy. If you like spicy food, order it a bit spicier than you think you might normally, because although the Indians often like their food really spicy, they try not to scare Americans' off. The food is priced affordably (probably cheaper than Denny's). The food used to be legendary when they employed a Sikh cook named Sittar, who last I knew relocated to cook at a horrible fast food wings/Indian food restaurant at UCONN (wings express). It's still pretty good though, and worth the price.
The tomato soup, very spicy is probably one of the hottest foods - pure liquid death. It's tasty though. The Channa Masala (chickpeas curry) was always good. The iced tea is also awesome, with a cinnamon stick and, I think its a cardamom pod in it. The Aloo Gobi (potatoes and cauliflower is also quite good), as was the okra dish (Bindi Masala?) The Aloo Mattar (potatoes and peas but way tastier than that sounds) is pretty good here too. The roti was kind of leathery - go for the Kulcha or the Naan (especially the garlic naan) for breads. If you order food that is too hot, a mango Lassi (type of yogurt drink) will cool your mouth down (the dairy fat helps to absorb the hot oils).
For the newbie who thought Chicken Tikki Masala was the signature dish of Indian restaurants - you are clueless. Indian food is classically vegetarian, and the best dishes are usually the vegetarian ones, at any Indian restaurant (although North India has more meat dishes, I think). I would give this 4.5 stars, but it doesn't seem to let me give half stars.
Taj Mahal won't honor gift certificate from Restaurant-dot-com – I went to Taj Mahal yesterday only because I bought a $25 certificate from Restaurant-dot-com specifically for dining in Taj Mahal. However, the waitress would not accept it. First she said the policy changed and I should make a mimimum purchase of $50 instead of $35 as stated on the certificate. I said "OK I will buy $50 worth of food". She said she still could not accept it because "the certificate number is no longer valid". I asked her to call the validation number, she said "it is a 800 number" and "you know how long it is going to take". So after ordering, I called the validation number from my cell phone. Upon entering the certificate number, I was told that the certificate was good for $25. It did not say the program changed or it was no longer valid. So I told the waitress that the number was valid and she should accept it. This time she said "yes the number is valid but I can't take it because now the minimum order is $50". I told her again that I was willing to spend $50. She said she could not honor the certificate because it says minimum is $35 and making me spend $50 was illegal. I told her that not accepting a valid certificate is also not legal. Of course in this type of situation the manager is never there. So I was not able to use the paid and valid certificate made out specifically to Taj Mahal whiling dining in Taj Mahal.
The portion of the food was very small. The food was not bad.
Best Indian Food in the County – I've been coming to the Taj Mahal for years now and it's never been a disappointment. The price is right, the food is terrific (and if you ask for it, WICKED spicy), and the atmospher/ambiance seems to have been steadily improving over the last few years. I also appreciate any ethnic cuisine restaurant that plays the appropriate ethnic music (and not American pop). I take it as a good sign that every time I come here, there's at least one party of Indian folks in the place. Truly authentic foreign food can be hard to come by in the boondocks. If you're looking to eat out at a busy eatery (as the right amount of fellow patrons does indeed add to a dining atmosphere's charm), I suggest going to the Taj on a weekend evening.
rather disappointing – Atmosphere is dingy awith 1980's decor and restaurant is dirty and unkempt. Food consisted of too small portions-- and everything was over salted. Chicken tikka masala (the typical signature dish for such a restaurant) was the worst I've ever had by a mile. Dead on a Friday night with apathetic waiters. I do not recommend this restaurant.
Great Find – Amazing to find it in Vernon Ct. Out of the hundreds of Indian restaurants on the east coast I have tried, this is the best. Vegan and vegetarian friendly. The spices were perfectly done and an incredible amount of breads to choose from. Didn't try dessert but got an assortment of appetizers and dinners. All were better than average. I will come back even though I live in North Carolina. Durham would be lucky to have this cook in our town.
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