NC Eatin’: Wake County
Monday, September 24, 2007
Tamarind India Bistro
5460 Apex Peakway
I think Wake County is one of the absolute best places to live – hence why I live here! Interestingly, lots of magazines and websites agree with me, awarding numerous accolades to the county. The county is surprisingly diverse. There’s just enough going on to find something to do, but not so much that it’s overwhelming or draws too many obnoxious tourists.
I spent the evening in Apex, west of Raleigh, south of Cary, and north of Holly Springs. The population is estimated to be over 30,000 now, and it’s growing quickly. Apex is most famous for the October 2006 chemical fire, which garnered attention nationwide as part of the town was evacuated. It turned out that it wasn’t as big of a deal as people feared, but that’s what people know about Apex.
My friend Tara decided she would like to celebrate her birthday at Tamarind India Bistro, so Jason and I met her, Keith, Alan, Suzanne, and Dwayne there for dinner. Tamarind is located in the rapidly expanding area of stores and restaurants near the junction of highways 64 and 55. As usual, I could tell as soon as I walked in the door that I was in an Indian restaurant. There’s no masking the scent of curry!
Not long after I arrived, the server brought out two plates of samosas. These are fried triangular-shaped pastry shells stuffed with potatoes, peas, and some other things. You can also get meat filled ones, but Keith ordered them and he likes the potato kind better. There were two dips – a sweet one and a savory one. I think the sweet one was tamarind and date; the savory was green so probably coriander or chutney. The samosas were surprisingly spicy – and delicious! Most of our group preferred the sweet sauce, but I enjoyed both. There were five of us munching on these, and I thought two orders was just right.
As we worked on the appetizers, the server came to take our order. He was very nice, offering to explain things and helping us with pronunciation. I ordered “extra super spicy” palak chicken. It looked disgusting when it came out – like a pile of cooked, mashed spinach. Ha – guess what it was! I spooned some rice on my plate, added a healthy dollop of the palak chicken, and dug in. Yum! It was just the right level of heat – made me almost-but-not-quite sweat. Keith also ordered his “extra super spicy.” He said his lamb dish was a bit hotter than mine.
For dessert, most of us had Gulab Jamen, fried dough balls liberally doused with a sweet syrup. They were unbelievably sweet – one of the sweetest things I’ve ever tasted. I would absolutely consider stopping by just for these!
I think everyone enjoyed the evening – and the food, which was a surprise to some. I would highly recommend anyone who likes or wants to try Indian food visit Tamarind.
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