Portland >Restaurants > Baraka
1824 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR | Directions 9721145.559030 -122.646221
Neighborhoods: Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, Vernon
Good atmosphere, not-so-great cuisine – A well appointed interior replete with bamboo touches and a nice indian flair does not make up for the uninteresting food. I did enjoy the samosas, but then was dissapointed when all the entrees at the table had little flavor and didn't come close to being described as Indian.
However, our service was great and very friendly and attentive. Our cocktails were also delicious, although a little overpriced.
I wouldn't return here if I was in the mood for Indian food, but maybe for a drink sometime and I would definately order the samosas again.
Pretty place to hang out...don't eat here though – This place is really pretty on the inside. They have good drinks. However, the food is something else. I ordered hummus, but I was brought a gloppy plate of ground up garbanzo beans that had curry powder in it. Gross. Hummus should be smooth and slightly garlicky...I don't know what this was.
They serve pitta bread and call it naan, so I am just assuming that this is another American wannabe Indian-style restaurant. They should be ashamed of themselves. Hopefully, they will find someone knowledgeable in this cuisine, or change the name and style of food. If you want real Indian, you would be much better off going to the India House on Burnside.
Bland – I wanted this place to be good, but the food was very bland. My cocktail and the samosas were good however. I ordered the sag paneer and it was almost flavorless. I believe the even forgot to salt it. I have had sag paneer frozen dinners with more flavor than this. My husband had the vegetable curry which had more flavor than my dish, but was hardly spicy at all and strangely sweet. The atmosphere was very cool, but could not make up for the bland food.
Tasty – We have really enjoyed the food here, specifically the samosas, buddah belly's, and the enlightened beans (green beans in a rich, spicy sauce, topped with crushed almonds!). The sauces are scrumptious, the drinks are inventive, and delicious (try the D'yer Maker with candied ginger garnish), and the atmosphere/ambiance is club-like. That's a lot to pack into such a small space. I think people looking for "traditional" indian restaurant will be dissapointed. This is much more of an urban/veggie/NW/organic fusion of indian food, with a hip drum and bass vibe. We love it, and have regular cravings for our favorites. Definitely our new favorite spot.
Great place – Baraka was a fantastic place to visit, the food was great, drinks were the best, and the ambiance was perfect. Super layed back vibe, great decor. The only bad thing I can say is that the waitress was really spread thin, so service was a bit slow, but overall, a great experience, will definately be back.
Our Favorite Joint on Alberta – My partner & I live on Alberta and go out to eat at least a few times a week on the street. Of the dozen or so times I have eaten here, I would say every experience other than one (which was average on food and service) was excellent! I am totally addicted to the Samosas (best in town, imho) & Pot Stickers (called "Buddha Bellies") and often order them to go. It's not necessarily 'Indian' food, but the Asian/Island fusion thing totally works. It's the only organic "Indian-ish" food I know of in town and the prices (i.e. $6 for 2 huge samosas, $3 for an organic pint of IPA!) rock!!! The service is usually awesome and the ambiance feels like being on a very zen tropical island. The music and surreal "fireplace", cobb benches, art and visuals are also totally rad. Nice work Barakabar!
Greek Pita in place of Naan Bread???!!!! – I don't know what the Willamette Week was thinking when it recommended this "indian restaurant," but it's absolutely the most bizarre and bland Indian food that I've ever eaten.
A group of friends went to try Baraka and all but one of us liked our food. The tikka tasted like something from a vegan food buffet. The wine we sent back and the naan bread that we ordered was the same bread that wraps greek gyros.
Maybe the cocktails are good, but I didn't get a chance to try them. The ambiance was nice, I will admit. These were the only positive things about Baraka.
The service was apalling as well.
Terrible – Total disappointment. Every dish at our table was equally poor. The food is flavorless, virutally no wine selection, the service is shotty. I would never return. Oh, and they serve pita bread and call it nan.
Worst food in Portland. – Baraka created an initial illusion of a fun, eclectic new restaurant that I was eager to try after reading a positive review from the Willamette week. The space was well designed with good music & drinks. However, from that point on the culinary experience steadily declined into a disastrous meal. The restaurant has no real direction or roots but rather a mix of north indian, south indian & asian ingredients?!? All six dishes we ordered were either bland or inedible. The naan bread was more akin to something you would find at a bad gyro stand. No restaurant can survive upon looks alone & unless Barakas cooks go on a Madhur Jaffrey boot camp this business is unfortunately destined to fail. I would have rather spent the evening locked in a crazed Dentist's office having my feet drilled with holes. Save your money & don't bother trying the food here.
The WORST food in PDX – I lived in India for over a year and I'd have to say that the horrible service and ambience aside this is STILL THE WORST FOOD I HAVE EVERY HAD IN PORTLAND. The dosa was thick and the masala was bland. I can't believe that anyone would recommend this place. The servers are too busy thinking about their clothes to think about customers--I can't imagine someone who is this bad at cooking had the gaul to open a restaurant.
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