The same goes for Indian food. There is only one place to go. Fortunately, it is fabulous.
Passage To India
855 45th Street
Fargo, ND 58103
Jake and I theorize we inherited the stomachs of our ancestors. I can eat as much spicy, fragrant food from any country or region of Asia, India, or Africa with no ill effects. In fact, I may feel better. But if you treat me to a three course meal from Meritage, or rich, Minnesotan holiday meal, my stomach will probably ache. The reverse applies to Jake.
I first tasted Indian food in high school. My friend and I tried Taste of India's lunch buffet so we could write about it in our school paper, The Talon.
I remember enjoying the new flavors and unforgettable hospitality of the owners who treated us to several varieties of lassi. This past spring, I returned from Mexico with a mysterious stomach ailment. Oddly enough, I was discovered my stomach felt infinately better after I dined at Surabhi's spicy, South Indian lunch buffet in Bloomington, MN. I begged Jake to return that weekend and have been addicted ever since. If I had my way, I'd eat spicy Indian food every time we dined out. This past year, I have enjoyed slowly learning how to cook Indian food in my own kitchen.
On a Friday evening, we placed our first order at Passage to India. Many of Fargo's ethnic restaurants seem tamed-down in comparison to my favorite places in the Twin Cities. So we ordered everything extra spicy and crossed our fingers.
Love At Fresh Curry Leaves
Passage To India is adjacent to the Fargo License Bureau, where I spent two lunch hours this past week. No longer a guest. Not quite a legend.
Upon entering Passage To India, I noticed Indian ingredients and a small cooler in a nook near the counter. I knew we were in good hands when I saw a small sign advertising fresh curry leaves.
The onion pakoras, $5, were crunchy delights. The batter was a bit thicker than what I just tasted at Surabhi, but it was shatteringly crunchy, greaseless, and warm with spices. A slight fire grew in my mouth.
We scooped up our saucy entrees with a mixed naan basket that included a few varieties of flat breads. The menu lists describes the basket as including naan, garlic naan, onion kulcha, and alu paratha. Our order included about six pieces for $7 which seems a bit pricey. I can only remember tasting garlic naan and alu paratha. The texture of the naan which was slim and delicate.
Whenever a meal involves naan, Jake and I nearly get into flat bread scuffles. I think I lost this one.
Okra is an underrated vegetable and, per usual, we ordered bhindi masala, $10. Passage's version was saucy and included fresh tomato, onions, and green pepper. While I would have preferred Passages swap more okra for green pepper, the sauce was just so tasty.
We randomly ordered the Lamb Chettinad Curry, $12, not knowing what to expect. Tender pieces of lamb lie beneath the calm surface of the velvety gravy. Complex, spicy, and deep.
Lastly, I ordered raita for myself.
The thin, cool yogurt sauce complimented the intensely flavored gravies and their heat.
Overall, we were impressed with the quality, addictiveness, and spiciness of Passage's food. My Indian food craving hits hard, fast, and more frequent by the minute. I feel secure knowing I have access to Indian food as delicious as I have found in the Twin Cities.
Jake claims it tasted better than Surabhi. I think it's right on par, but am partial to Surabhi's Thali meals that provide naan and condiments for a flat, additional up-charge. But the sauces were so compelling and well-balanced that we licked our plates and containers clean, not wasting a drop.
Someone recommended their weekend buffet and I look forward to visiting.
On a final note, I will add that although I now own a ND drivers license, license plates and car title,
I'm still 612, ya'll.