There are a wealth of new local eateries cropping up in the metro and even more coming. If they’re not on your radar, they should be. From the comfy atmosphere at The Barrel on Western Avenue to the laid-back vibe at the Plaza District’s coffee shop, you might find a new regular hangout.
— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman
3409 S. Broadway, Edmond
What works: great vegetarian options, like the chana saag, and the best naan
What needs work: Servers need to know what’s on the menu.
Tips: Lunch buffet lets you try a bit of everything; dinner for more intimate meals.
Consistency is key to a restaurant’s survival. Diners need to be confident that each time they go into a restaurant, they’ll get the same quality of food and level of service they expect.
Heritage India, Edmond’s new and highly touted Indian restaurant, is turning out great food. And the service, after some initial hiccups, seems to be improving.
And that’s good, because I want Heritage to survive. And thrive. And have to open a second location that’s a lot closer to my house.
It starts with the naan bread ($2.49), which is the best I’ve had in the metro.
Cooked inside the tandoor oven, it is both crisp and chewy and has a light buttery flavor. I ate it like I was afraid someone was coming to take it away. I was not as wild about the garlic naan, which I felt had too much of the harsh, raw garlic bitterness and bite.
Another good starter is the vegetable samosas (two for $3.99). Freshly fried, they are savory and wonderful, especially with the dipping sauces on the side. It’s a good thing there were only two, because there was more food coming.
Probably the best dish I’ve had there is the chana saag ($9.95), a stew of chickpeas and spinach. Each creamy bite hides a few chickpeas, which give it more texture and flavor. I didn’t expect to be wowed by spinach, but I was. Highly recommended.
For those who enjoy more spice, the goan lamb vindaloo ($13.95) pairs tender chunks of lamb with a chunky, spicy curry sauce. As good as it was the first night, I loved it even more the next morning, when I fried a couple of eggs into it at home. As always, a few hours in the fridge cranks up the heat.
If you’re new to Indian food, you might enjoy the Heritage tandoor platter ($19.95), which is similar, in some ways, to fajitas. You get the sizzling cast-iron skillet topped with onions and peppers. But instead of steak, there’s marinated tilapia, lamb kabob and tandoor chicken.
Or get the chicken biryani ($11.95), which is kind of like an Indian fried rice. It’s a little crunchy and crispy, but mostly it’s just spicy and delicious. Chicken, mint, onion and saffron: It’s a heady combination.
For vegetarians, the malai kofta ($8.95) is a nice treat. You get big vegetable dumplings in a sweet, creamy sauce, served over rice that eagerly soaks up all the flavors.
I also liked the Bengal fish masala ($14.95), which has tender fish fillets swimming in a sauce of tomato, onion and herbs. Fish and chicken both do a good job of allowing a chef to impose flavors on them. Here, the fish takes on a lot of heat and flavor without compromising the texture.
There’s a kid’s menu, too, although I wouldn’t get the cheese aloo tikka ($3.49) again. It was kind of a mashed potato patty stuffed with cheese, which sounds pretty good but ended up just tasting like a disc of starch.
I’ve heard very few people who have problems with Heritage India’s food, and I’ve enjoyed just about everything I’ve had there. But service has been an issue, with missing entrees, long waits and the like. The last time I went in, it seemed as if most of the problems had been addressed.
And that’s important. No matter how good the food tastes, if it takes forever or it never comes, you won’t enjoy it.
If Heritage can raise the level of service to match the level of its cuisine, I have no doubt the restaurant will be an Oklahoma staple for many years to come.
And it had better, because I’m not about to stop eating that naan.
Oklahoma Gazette’s restaurant review policy is to highlight the positive aspects, and include constructive criticism regarding food, ambience or service when appropriate.