Atlanta is fortunate to have a large Indian population, and thus hundreds of restaurants that cater to their culinary heritage; unfortunately some of them are not very good and don’t take the time to nurture their craft. This is one of the main reasons why so many “gringos” have negative perceptions of the food. Tandoor dispels these misconceived notions with the likes of fresh vegetarian options and plenty of well-prepared Indian staples like chicken and veggie samosas!
The samosa had a crispy exterior shell that gave way to a piping hot mix of dense chick peas, potato and other assorted vegetables; while it was solid on its own, the accompanying sauces (one mild yogurt and herb based and the other spicy and habanero based) were the stars of the dish…we asked for seconds and used it as a dipping sauce for the copious amounts of naan bread that was ordered!
Tandoor is in a tiny strip mall on Power’s Ferry Rd. just before the 120 loop if you’re headed North; you have probably driven past it a hundred times (as did I) without ever knowing it existed. The sign is small, nondescript, and the other tenants are just a bit sketchy to the naked eye, but if you like Indian food you need to try this place. They usually don’t get crowded until after 12:30 for lunch, so it’s easy to get a seat during normal lunch time without having to worry about them running out of anything.
As mentioned above, they have several tasty vegetarian options, which for those that follow this site know, I usually skip. The Chanaa Daal, pureed chick peas with herbs and spices, was amazing and full of complex flavor with a hint of heat; it reminded me of a much improved Indian version of refried beans…but much better!
We also sampled a ridiculously tender eggplant & potato dish and the okra. The eggplant was flavored with a mild curry and the potatoes where pretty much obliterated from the amount of time I ‘m sure this dish spent simmering on the stove.
Turning to the protein side of the menu you’ll find several variations of chicken, beef and goat; from your common beef shami kabobs to more unique (or at least to me) items like the goat korma. The korma was whole goat pieces (bone in) braised in a spicy curry sauce and, as you can imagine, the flavor was intense. Once you get past all the bones, the dish is relatively easy to conquer and I will order it every time I return here.
Tandoor definitely exceeded my expectations and I’m glad I finally stopped in to check it out. The first thing I found out was that the owners/operators are of Pakastani descent, hence all the middle easten influences and spices present in some of the dishes. The other thing to know is that you order and pay at the small counter in the front and everything else: drinks, napkins, utensils is self-service from a stand around the corner, so don’t expect to have a server at your beck and call and then bitch that the service sucked…They also don’t have any posted hours or a website, but I can confirm that they’re open for lunch most days. I’m pretty sure they’re open for dinner but I would give them a call ahead of time just to be sure: 678-560-2038.