Namaste Cafe – Uptown

A little background

I’m excited to post about this one not only because I’ve been dying to go here for the longest time, but also because they have spectacular Indian and Nepalese food.  Namaste Cafe is housed in a cute, three-story yellow house with red trim and plenty of outdoor seating (for the win!). In the summer, folks living around Uptown/Lowry Hill area take advantage of their outdoor seating whenever the weather decides to cooperate.

Namaste Café is a values-oriented restaurant and operates on the strength of its commitment to
a) Sustainable practices
b) Superior quality foods at moderate prices
c) Supporting local arts and artists
d) Creating innovative food and beverage options
e) Warm, hospitable, enjoyable atmosphere conducive to positive social interaction
f) Bringing a flavor of the world to your doorsteps

(yes, I did take this directly from their website, but I thought it was written perfectly and why mess with something that’s well written?)

What a great place to go to catch up with old friends, enjoy a nice meal, or, simply, to hang out and see some local art once a month.

Social Media
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 My thoughts

My fiance and I went with our friend Brian one night after work. All three of us like trying new and diverse foods. We had to pay Namaste Cafe a visit. Of course, we had to sit outside. We’ve finally had good weather with no rain so we had to take advantage of it. Their outside patio is surrounded with diverse plant life, colorful lawn chairs, and, at night, stings of twinkle lights. (Perfect for a date night!) Take note, they do offer a date night special. Every Tuesday night after 6 p.m., you and your date can enjoy two entrees, a bottle of house wine, and dessert for $35.

The below picture was my dish of the night. I went with the Eggplant with Garlic and Scallions. This consisted of, well, eggplant of course! The chefs at Namaste Cafe saute cubes of eggplant in oil with soy sauce and mixed with garlic. Also mixed into this dish are tomatoes, scallions, and a generous serving of rice on the side. In addition to my entree, I had to order some warm, fluffy Indian-style bread to go with it. P.S. If you’ve never had naan or Indian bread, you are seriously missing out. Below, I chose the Roti, which is a filling bread cooked without oil. They serve it warm so it wraps perfectly around the rice and entree. You can also see that I had the house chai, iced.

Eggplant with Garlic and Scallions Small cubes of eggplant sautéed in oil with soy sauce and mixed with  garlic, tomatoes and scallions.
Eggplant with Garlic and Scallions: Small cubes of eggplant sautéed in oil with soy sauce and mixed with
garlic, tomatoes and scallions.

My fiance went with the Hot and Tangy Lamb with Potatoes, which included curry-spiced lamb, potatoes, green chillies, onions, garlic, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, and malt vinegar. I honestly liked this entree a lot better than my own. It worked much better with the garlic roti. Can you tell that we really wanted the flavor of garlic that night? I loved the seasoning of the lamb. It was well cooked so much that it was just “melt in your mouth” good. This was also served with rice.

 

Hot and Tangy Lamb with Potatoes: spicy curry of lamb and potatoes cooked with green chilies, onions,  garlic, cloves, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon and  malt vinegar.
Hot and Tangy Lamb with Potatoes: spicy curry of lamb and potatoes cooked with green chilies, onions,
garlic, cloves, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon and
malt vinegar.

Our friend went with the Namaste Special Curry. This is Namaste Cafe’s own specialty with ingredient typical to those found in Nepalese cooking. This one was also one of my favorites from Namaste Cafe. There’s just something about the curries there that really make the meal! Again, this dish was served with basmati rice.

Namaste Special Curry: A smooth and flavorful curry prepared with onions, tomatoes,  paprika and scallions. Chicken added.
Namaste Special Curry: A smooth and flavorful curry prepared with onions, tomatoes,
paprika and scallions. Chicken added.

 

Overall, if you are looking for a unique experience with “out-of-this-world” food and are not afraid to try Indian/Nepalese, I highly recommend dropping in. The service at Namaste cafe is extremely friendly and very knowledgeable about their entrees and what goes well with what. Come for date night! It’s sure to be a good time. I’ll see you there!

For a full view of their menu, check out the link below:
Dinner Menu
Lunch Menu
Happy Hour
Date Night
1/2 Price Bottle of Wine
Wine and Beer

Dancing Ganesha – Minneapolis

A little background

Dancing Ganesha is located near the downtown of Minneapolis, close to St. Thomas.  It’s an eclectic restaurant that serves up authentic Indian cuisine.  The atmosphere is contemporary with modern music and lighting.   On top of a great atmosphere  – and beautiful pieces of art throughout the restaurant –  the exotic smells of their menu immediately grab your attention.  Want to sit outside?  The Dancing Ganesha has a wonderful patio for days when it’s a shame to be indoors.  They offer a lunch buffet that includes vegetarian and meat entres, happy hours (or as they would like to call them “Karma” hours), and a great place to take that special person for dinner.  Lastly, this is an excellent choice for lunch with a large group of your friends.  Not only are the prices reasonable, but you get a great selection of entres and the booths are big enough to accommodate six adults comfortably.

Sample plate of Dancing Genesha's lunch buffet 

My thoughts

I’ll offer a little more background information on my fiance and me.  We both are adventurous in our search for great restaurants.  We’ll try anything at least once.  Because we’re so adventurous, it would make sense that we like some pretty ethnic dishes; ergo, Tony was lucky when his coworkers took him here to lunch one day.  We both adore Indian cuisine.  It could be the curry, interesting ingredients, or simply the heat of the dishes that keeps us coming back for more!  I will admit, I’m a little biased when it comes to writing about Indian food, but no matter, I’ll still give a fair review.

This dish includes: (beginning with the bread and going clockwise)

  1. Naan Bread – Some of the most amazing bread you will ever try.  Soft, fluffy, and warm goodness when bitten into.
  2. Vegetable Biriyani – Basmati rice, aromatic spices, herbs & garden fresh vegetables
  3. Saag Paneer – Indian Farmers cheese, spinach, creamy sauce reduction
  4. Tandoori Chicken – Tender chicken, yogurt & spices, tandoor baked
  5. Chicken Tikka Masala – Tandoori chicken marinated, spices, tomatoes, creamy sauce

Okay, here it goes.  BEST INDIAN FOOD EVER!!!

Alright.  I know many of you are probably thinking,” how do you know which Indian food is the best?”  I’d have to agree with you.  I don’ t know which is the best because I’ve never been to India, but honestly, this has become our favorite place to grab amazing Indian food in Minneapolis.  Why?  The service is great.  The atmosphere was welcoming.  You’re given large plates so you can take as much as you want and still come back for seconds.  The food was always warm and, honestly, tasted great.  All of the vegetarian options were hardy, rich, and filling.  As for the meat dishes, the chicken was so tender and, thankfully, was not dried out!  I was impressed by the quality of the entres they served for lunch.  It looked like they made jumbo batches of their dinner plates.  I would say all of the dishes were pretty savory and I would compare it to the comfort food Americans seek only in an Indian version.  It felt like this was something my parents would make, had I been born in India.  The dishes weren’t too spicy either.

For those of you who are willing to give Indian food a try, I would definitely recommend Dancing Ganesha.  Go for lunch and you can sample a variety of dishes and determine if this style is right for you.  Lastly, feel free to get comfortable.  The staff do not want their visitors to feel rushed.  Enjoy!