Life by Chocolate

Chocolate, white, milk, dark, in all its forms forms life. Chocolate truffles, caramels, and other confections are at the core of enjoyment. This is life by chocolate because death by chocolate is the wrong attitude.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Garam Masala's: Wowwie, Wow, Wowwy, Wow

What can I say? Goat rules at Garam Masala, 77 New Road in Parsipanny, NJ, next door or two from Donnagio's. I love goat and I enjoy goat. Garam Masala specializes in goat.

First of all, I had Ajwan Paratha. What a great bread. I also had the suka mutton. I actually ordered this by accident but I am glad they brought it out.

First, let me explain, they have a top notch chef, who cooked for me their Shahi Mutton Korma, which was just great, and they have the owner's wufe, also an owner, who made for me the suka mutton, the masala tea, the rasmalai and I assume the mango lassi. Order whatever that woman cooks. You wont be disappointed with any of the food but she has a vision of Indian food you just cannot miss.

I started with the Samosa. Not bad. And interesting dish with dal, lentils. Not the best samosa I have ever had but not bad. Then the Suka Mutton came out with the Ajwan Paratha and my Mango Lassi.

The service was very good, attentive and warm hearted. The decor was interesting and the seating comfortable. (One of the things I forgot to mention about Park Avenue Winter was that the seats were very comfortable.) But the food is where this place shines.

The Mango Lassi was more mango water with just a touch of yogurt to give it a sweet and sour taste but with only a hint of added sugar if any. It was refreshing and complemented the meal perfectly.

The Suka Mutton was unlike anything I have ever had. It was a perfectly prepared goat dish with a beautiful chili oil infused with the goat and spices. The ingredients were few but they were a perfect few. The Ajwan Paratha was very spicy with carom seed. It smells like thyme and tastes like caraway and maybe a little anise thrown in there for fun. That's carom or ajwain. The goat tasted like it was barbecued. Definitely charbroiled.

The Shahi Mutton Korma was very good and tasty and tasted just like a korma should. No edge, however. But still one of the best kormas I have ever had. I just love goat and this did not disappoint. I'd order it again.

Then I had the ras malai. I swear there was rose water in it. They said no. Just cardamom and a saffron. I didn't believe them. The curds were larger than I am used to and the dish was not that sweat but it was heavenly and subtle. I just loved it. The Masala tea was a gourmet delight as well. Using just the outer husks of the cardamom and some blended tea, with only and hint of milk and sugar, I ordered it with milk and sugar, it was a perfect ending to this brilliant meal.

Look, this is an Indian place in a strip mall. I had food there, lots of it, that was just beautiful. I took some home and had it just a few minutes ago. Perfectly seasoned and not overly spiced. I enjoyed it again warmed up.

The only downside was the rice. Regualr yellow rice, nicely made but no peas or anything special at all about it. However, it went well with everything. Oh, their sauces are pretty good too. Didn't use much of them because the rest of the food was perfect.

I didn't have any of the Indo-Chinese Specials. I'll have to try them next time. I'm not sure I'll get past the goat, though. Yum.

Go there and enjoy.

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Donnagio: Simply the Best

Well, Donnagio's in Parsippany, NJ (61 New Road) is simply the best, just as they say. First of all, their crust is their secret weapon. It's not some soggy, bready affair rather it is almost a pastry pizza crust. The crust is firm, almost with a snap, while the crumb is soft but not bready.

Their sauce is also very good. The two combined make for a perfect combination. You could have just their sauce and just their crust and be happy. I love their plain pizza. It speaks volumes as to the quality of their workmanship.

Their stromboli are my personal favorite. World wide. These guys make the best strombolli I have ever had. I have not yet had their calzone because I can't get past that stromboli. It is reminiscent of an island empanada. A caribean island, that is. Those of you that know what I am talking about will apprecite the difference in this stromboli. Those that don't should go to Donnagio and try their roasted pepper and sausage stromboli and not just take my word for it.

When it comes to pizza, Chef knows best. Go try it.

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