Thursday, May 08, 2008

Ashoka Palace: Philadelphia

I had just finished an exam and was very strangely in the mood for a hot dog. A simple hot dog, one in a regular ol hot dog bun with ohhh, some ketchup, relish and onions. That would very much hit the spot.
So I go strolling down the street, with a swagger in my step, whistling a tuneless song, when my gastronomical storyline takes a dramatic veering turn towards...

...Indian food?

I had just passed by Ashoka Palace, a place I had been curious about trying out. It took me a good minute to rationally think through whether I wanted Indian food or not. Seriously, I was just standing outside, thinking.

Which is a very strange thing, since I'm more of "pregnant lady" style decider on what to eat and I had such a clear picture of plump juicy hot dogs in my mind.

Anyhow, the prices looked surprisingly affordable so I sprung for a Lamb Saag Wala, (Boneless lamb cooked with spinach and tomatoes) and a salty lassi.
The lamb saga wala was okay. I'm not sure if they toned down the spices because I'm not Indian, but the flavors were rather tame.

The same deal goes for the salty lassi. I was at first amused by the amount of froth on top. Oooh, it looks like a hurricane shown on the doppler 5000 radar. But then I tasted it and it lacked that pricky mix of spices that I'm used to a good salty lassi.

Which is kind of too bad. Ashoka Palace is apparently BYOB, something I overheard while waiting for my food. Also, the place is very casual, but much bigger than I expected it to be from the outside. It stretches in depth once you go inside and it might make for a good ultra-casual place to go with friends.

That is, if the food could be done more spicily. I don't know. Perhaps it's just one of those things, where you have to go with an Indian friend to get the real stuff. Or perhaps you just have to let the lady know you want the real stuff.

One more final note: apparently this place was somewhat excitedly anticipated on Chow and Phillyblog. If it means anything to anyone, its owner is the original chef of Minar Palace.

Ashoka Palace
38 South 19 St. Philadelphia, PA 19103 (map)

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