Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bollywood Theater: Restaurant Review

With so many restaurants to choose from, the bustling Portland food scene can be overwhelming. But sensitive eaters like myself have to navigate dining out like a mine field, which can shrink our choices down to a handful. Rarely do I find a restaurant that balances the best of all experiences where I can select from a list of mouthwatering dishes that offer a variety of flavors and textures that include grains, legumes, meats, vegetables, and sauces that are both edible and delectable. But now I've found one, and it's time you know about it too.

Bhel Puri: A refreshing dish that is crunchy, sweet, spicy, and light. It's my favorite dish on the menu. Make sure you ask for it gluten-free if you're gluten intolerant. Menu: potatoes, vegetables, onion, cilantro, peanuts, spices, and puffed rice, drizzled with green and tamarind chutneys. 

Bollywood Theater, an eclectic restaurant in the Alberta district, serves straightforward, well-executed Indian street food that not only makes Eating Friendly possible, but easy and enjoyable. Bollywood Theater is a counter service restaurant with upbeat, friendly staff members--a restaurant that blends aspects of casual/fine dining with an unpretentious nosh concept that delivers excellent product at a price that's easy on your wallet.

Aloo Tikki: For a simple dish, the flavors are complex. It's a hearty dish with a mixture of savory elements and refreshing mint that livens and refreshes the dish. Menu: pan-fried spiced potato patties, chickpea cholle, and green chutney.
The menu seems small at first, but it offers a variety of flavorful and intriguing choices that satisfy on many levels. Dishes range from refreshing and sweet, to spicy, to hearty. Complex layers of mint, or cilantro, or aromatic spices antagonize the taste buds, as the flavors are balanced with the above combinations.

Goan-Style Shrimp: Juicy shrimp in a delicate sweet sauce with aromatic spices served over a well-seasoned, fluffy bed of rice. Menu: spicy shrimp with curry leaves, chile, coconut milk, and lime served with saffron rice.
Bollywood Theater was conceived by Chef/owner Troy MacLarty, former chef of Lovely Hulahands and Chez Panisse "alumni," who is known for his love of great local product, and known for applying solid technique to down-to-earth cuisine. By remaining true to the ingredients, MacLarty designs his Indian dishes in respect to the original cuisine he had studied in his monthlong stay in India. Rumor has it that many have said Bollywood Theater's cuisine is reminiscent of mom's home cooking. I'm not Indian, but I can say without hesitation that it's the best Indian restaurant in the city of Portland.

Pork Vindaloo: A must-have for me every time I eat there. Tender, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth pork with a sweet and slightly spicy sauce. It is served with rolls, but you can order it with rice. Menu: Pork braised with red chilies, garlic, and vinegar served with buttered rolls.

If you're gluten-free, and you're not ultra sensitive, you'll appreciate Bollywood Theater as much as I do. Just make sure to let the person taking your order know about your food allergies. The staff seems pretty well educated, and they usually keep an alternative menu behind the counter for sensitive eaters, but you have to ask for it. Bollywood's menu is also easy for vegetarians and people who can't tolerate dairy. In many ways, the menu is able to accommodate many eaters, unless you have an allergy to citrus, spices, or garlic. Just remember to be as accommodating as you are asking your chef to be. Eating Friendly goes both ways.

As always my friends, be well and enjoy Eating Friendly.

1 comment:

  1. I hadn't heard of this place! I love Indian food. I'll be sure to check this place out. You make it sound irresistible.