Thursday, November 19, 2009

BREADS OF INDIA - Garlic Naan & Beer

What is it about bread that makes me go weak in the knees? Bagels, English Muffins, Sourdough. All of these fantastical starches have been woven into my DNA since childhood. I used to dream of being locked into the Lakeshore Deli (an old-world delicatessen my grandfather used to frequent and on whose proscuitto and ravioli I was raised) and left to consume all the bread and cheese I could manage to swallow. That was my childish idea of heaven.

So it isn't a surprise that I might find a restaurant named "Breads" of anything intriguing. When Breads of India first opened, my food gang and I tried it within a week or two of it's unveiling. This most recent visit was a little over a week ago, early in the week. Thought it deserved a revisit for the blog.

Breads of India is one of those smallish family places you really want to be good. Everyone is very nice, and in this economy one never wants to see a place near empty. But it was, as so many eateries are these days. Unfortunate sign of the times. The restaurant's decor is extremely quaint. It looks like a 70s ideal of an Indian Restaurant in a film.

We ordered pretty safely. Beginning with drinks. Better half had a "Goan Dream" a cocktail of vanilla vodka, midori, orange and pineapple juices, while our Partner in Food Crimes had anIndian Beer, Kingfisher, which oddly enough has been outsourced to this country to be brewed & bottled. Irony that. We all shared a Lamb Shish ke Bob, which was nice. Large bite-sized rolls of lamb barbequed and meant to be dipped in a nice light herby mint sauce. I thought the meat was juicy and the smoky flavor very appealing.

Next I had a spicy Chicken Vindaloo, along with our PFC who is a fan of spice as well. The BH ordered the far less spicy Chicken Masala. I didn't taste the Masala, but I imagine it was fine. My vindaloo was not spicy enough, but it was appetizing. Not amazing, but appetizing.

Lastly there is the Bread. These breads are by far the best thing this place has to offer. Our naan was hot from the oven and smothered in garlic and butter. Each bread comes with a generous slatering of whatever topping or spice it is billed as featuring. We ordered plain and garlic naan, both of which went well with the meals. Nothing quite like fresh hot chewy starchy almost pizza dough to dip in a sauce. Still my idea of heaven. I did have 'garlic' replay for the balance of the afternoon, since it was doused in uncooked garlic which can play a bit of havoc on the digestion, but it was enjoyable in the eating at least.

The food here is decent, like good home cooked food. But it isn't great. Rice is just a little dry, salad is maybe the tiniest bit limp. The meals are just okay. But like I said, I really liked the bread.

Check it out, and Bon appetit!

Breads of India
948 Clay Street
Oakland, CA 94607

Table size: adequate
Noise level: low enough for conversation
Cost: moderate

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