Thursday, December 20, 2012

Review: Biryani Pot Restaurant

I like to think I have a very diverse palate.  I appreciate spicy foods that have complex flavours with many layers.  Yet I still occasionally want Whataburger or Progresso Chicken Soup. In any event, Biryani Pot on Westheimer and Hillcroft, right next door to Bedrock City Comics is definitely exotic, has may layers of diverse flavours, and is conveniently located next to my favourite Comic Book Store in the Houston area.  I've been observing them doing the build out for the past several weeks and am so glad to finally see their doors open to the public.

They tag themselves as an Authentic Hyderabadi Food House.   FYI:  Hyderabad is the name of a large city in India, and also the name of a large city in Pakistan.  Biryani Pot is following the INDIAN style of cuisine and food, for those who are nitpickers.

Per their website:
We at Biryani Pot made a commitment to bring a variety of high quality Indian dishes specialized in Hyderbadi Dum Biryani for our local community. ... Why Specialize in Hyderabadi food? There is a term in Hyderabad for cooking patiently, ' ithmenaan se' which is the key. Hyderbadi cuisine is special because of the ingredients, which are carefully chosen, cooked to the right degree and for the right time. Primarily the focus is on picking the right kind of spices, meat, rice, etc. Therefore, an addition of a certain herb, spice, condiment gives a distinct taste and aroma. Hyderabadi Cuisine has different recipes for different tastes and we have brought out the best dishes of this cuisine for serving you. Hyderabad is famous for its Biryani and is now almost synonymous with the city. Whenever the city of Hyderabad gets mentioned, 'Biryani' comes to mind. We don't want our Houston community to miss out on this novel specialty, so we make fresh authentic Hyderbadi Biryani with our proprietary recipe at Biryani Pot. 
Non-Veg Lunch Combo at Biryani Pot
Their menu has a interesting variety of Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian dishes. Their entrees include Tandoori Chicken (a favourite of mine at other places), different kinds of Naan Bread--including a Garlic Basil Naan, and a Ginger Fish Masala that sounds just wonderful.  As this was my first visit, I wanted to get a good variety of dishes from them, and my server directed me to their different lunch specials.  These include Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian lunch combos which include an appetizer of the day, a Curry, a Daal Curry, Naan & Roti, Dum Biryani Rice,  and Papad Salad.  I went with the Non-Vegetarian, and on this particular day the meat was chicken. You can also let your server know the level of spice you'd prefer.  I asked for the standard level they'd give an average customer with a taste for Indian Cuisine.

I had a little chuckle as the lunch combo was served on a Cafeteria Tray, much like a couple of combos served at Liberty Kitchen.  Hey, I have no problem with it!  It keeps everything all well organized and all out there where it can be seen!  The chicken curry was very tasty--the sauce was a bit like a red Masala sauce.  Sweet, musky, warm, with some heat.  Very good stuff.  I was dipping my Roti and Naan bread in the Daal Curry--which was more herbal than the Chicken Curry.  The Chicken Dum Biryani with Jeera rice was filling and tasty all the way around.  And the salad with the yogourt dressing on the side had fresh veggies that were crispy and mild.  I was highly pleased with the value this combo supplied for Under $10.00, as well as the flavour.

Although the place is only recently opened, they had a very healthy lunch crowd for a Wednesday, which was very diverse--Westerners, South Asian and East Asian clientele were dining and seemed quite happy with their dishes.  This is a small location though--maybe seating about 50 people tops, and the service was present, but not invasive or evasive.  The dining area was quite clean and I was able to see into the kitchen as the door opened & closed, and it was quite clean as well.  This place doesn't have the fusion factor of The Queen Vic, the experimental factor of Pondicheri or the high end cachet of Kiran's, but you know what, sometimes it's just nice to have this kind of cuisine in a casual diner environment and the food is just plain good.

Report Card for Biryani Pot:
Food:
     Non-Vegetarian Lunch Special: A
Service:
     Friendliness: A
     Speed: B+
Cleanliness:
     Dining Area: A
     Kitchen: A
     Men's Room: Incomplete
Atmosphere: Indian fused with a local diner/café: B+

Overall Grade: A-

Biryani Pot is located at:
6509 Westheimer Rd (Near Hillcroft, next to Bedrock City Comics)
Suite # B, Houston, TX. 77057.
Ph: 713-278-8085

Hours of Operation:
     Lunch:  Tue-Fri:  11 AM to 2:30 PM
                 Sat-Sun: 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM
     Dinner:
                 Sun-Thu  5:30 PM to 10 PM
                 Fri-Sat    5:30 PM to 10:30 PM
     CLOSED MONDAYS

And remember to Eat Happy, Y'all!
खुशी से आप में से सब खा!!!
吃得开心你们!!!

Biryani Pot on Urbanspoon

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