Indian food is exactly what you want to devour during this miserable, snowy winter. Warm spicy broths and curried stews are the answer to runny noses and stifling headaches induced by the lovely sub-zero wind chills we’ve been enduring. Tamarind is one of a plethora of Indian restaurants located in the Pitt/CMU area, but its cozy location in a converted house, coupled with a refined menu that includes both North and South Indian dishes, has secured it a special place in the hearts of Pittsburgh students.
Tamarind’s menu includes all of the essentials that you would expect from an Indian restaurant. You’ve got your basic saag and channa masala, plus a healthy selection of naans and parathas to sop up those Indian sauces and stews. Beyond that, the menu also includes many dishes seemingly straight from my mom’s authentic kitchen that I rarely find at restaurants. Served with a delectable assortment of chutneys and vegetables, the dosas are delicious savory crêpes that make the ones from the crêpe cart on Bigelow look pale in comparison.
Chicken tikka masala is to Indian food what General Tso’s is to Chinese cuisine: not the most authentic thing you can put in your mouth, but it’s still pretty darn delicious. Tamarind’s rendition was no exception, and I found it especially good because the chicken was so tender that it fell apart effortlessly as I scooped it up with my naan. Not a bad problem to have.
A meal that doesn’t include dessert is a meal that I’m not interested in. My waiter recommended the rice kheer, and oh boy, it did not disappoint. Think of the exotic comforting flavors of your favorite chai latte (not ”chai tea”!), but in a warm, rich and creamy rice pudding. Pro tip: you might want to bust out your fat pants to come eat here, but it’s completely worth it.
Tamarind is a pretty great place to eat no matter what the occasion is. The atmosphere is as casual or as classy as you want it to be- you can come here with a couple of friends for a special dinner (highly recommended because sharing means you get to taste every dish), or you can cozy up at one of the tables by the window alone or with a date when you’re in need of some food therapy. If you’re looking for a break from the usual Market dinner (no hard feelings, dining hall food), hit up Tamarind for a delicious meal from one of the best Indian restaurants in town.
Location: 257 N Craig St., Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Hours of operation: Closed Monday, Tuesday-Thursday 11:30-2:30 (lunch), 5:00-10:00 (dinner), Friday 11:30-3:00 (lunch), 5:00-10:30 (dinner), Saturday 5:00-10:30 (dinner), Sunday 12:00-3:00 (lunch), 5:00-10:00 (dinner)