By Kent Barry –
In the small, high-elevation town of Flagstaff, Delhi Palace is a charming restaurant that serves authentic cuisine from the Indian subcontinent. Located in an easy-to- miss shopping center next to a Walmart, on the outside, the restaurant looks like your average run-of- the-mill Indian restaurant, but the inside has charm with its décor and mood lighting straight from a Bollywood movie. A large painting of the Taj Mahal adorns one of the walls with other iconic imagery from India flanking it from adjacent walls.
The establishment is open seven days a week but closes midday and reopens later for dinner service so plan accordingly. There are many items to choose from as the vast menu caters to both meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Gluten-free and vegan dishes are also available. Spice level is also asked before food is prepared to further customize to the patron’s liking.
There is also a luncheon buffet that is quite popular. I did not get the chance to sample what was included because I chose to carry out my food due to time constraints. It was a plus that the staff had my food waiting for me when I arrived.
Appetizers include the likes of traditional pakoras, samosas and an Indian soup. Moving on to the entrées, they use a special clay oven called a tandoori that is heated with charcoal. This brings out a unique flavor in the food.
In addition to the tandoori-made foods, there are chicken, lamb, rice and vegetarian dishes. An assortment of breads, desserts, and traditional beverages are served, including Indian teas and yogurt shakes called lassis. They do also serve alcohol so be mindful if that is a factor for you to dine in or carry out.
I tried two of their entrées: the Murg Makhani and the Chicken Biryani. The Murg Makhani, or simply butter chicken, was very creamy and rich. You could taste the combined butter, tomatoes and spices that went into it to create the dish. The chicken pieces were fairly large and paired well with the tandoori naan, the popular Indian-style bread. The chicken biryani was also flavorful even if it was more on the mild side in terms of spice level. The basmati rice was well cooked and the chicken pieces mixed well
with the spices to create that homemade biryani taste.
Portion size was generous for the biryani but for the Murg Makhani, I felt like the container it came in was small for the price. Prices generally hover in the $10-$12 range for the entrées, making an outing for two just over $20, pretty reasonable.
The only other complaint I had, besides the Murg Makhani container being on the smaller side, was that naan is not included with the entrées. Naan has been included by most Indian restaurants that I have been to, so it was disappointing to hear that it would cost extra to get a couple for my meal.
Still, if you’re craving some Indian food after a long day of snowboarding/skiing or just looking for ethnic food to try in Flagstaff, try Delhi Palace for a trip to India, at least food-wise.
I’d give it 4 out of 5 naans.