A Phoenix lunch spot, in more ways than one
On the Cheap by Stephen Heuser
Of all the buildings that could have burned down in Kenmore Square last
August, why did we have to lose 536 Comm Ave? Planet Records melted; people
were tossed out of their apartments; and -- well, this sounds heartless, but
the real crusher for those of us who work in the neighborhood was the loss of
a quirky Northern Indian restaurant with $5.95 luncheon specials
on butter chicken and eggplant dahiwala. Planet's record collection, sadly,
will never recover, but now India Quality has enterprisingly resurfaced a block
away, in a dugout space that used to be a Thai restaurant. The room, detailed
in mauve and brass, is more sterile than the endearingly crowded old place,
which clearly started life as someone's living room. But the cooking is still
sharp; the relishes are, if anything, a bit fresher-tasting than they were
before; and the basmati rice still comes with lurid touches of pink and orange.
Our favorites are butter chicken ($5.95); the bitter, herbal mint chicken
($5.95); and a grainy vegetarian dish called malai kofta ($4.95). Dinner is a
bit more expensive. Specials come with a free half-papadum and -- if you
remember to ask for it -- a cup of tea after lunch.
India Quality, located at 484 Comm Ave, is open for lunch daily from
11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and for dinner Monday through Friday from
5 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 3 to 11 p.m.
Call (617) 267-4499.
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