Sunday, October 28, 2012

New "Street Tacos" at Tommy Colina's Kitchen

RIP Tommy Colina

ChimiChurri Street Taco ($10.49):
Shaved tenderloin, lettuce blend, chimi churri sauce, tomatoes,
Chardonnay onions, fresh mozzarella, pita bread
Umm. Really?

I try my darndest not to be a food purist. I try to understand that terms such as "pizza" and "taco" can be used loosely. I try to lead a life that fosters a mutual understanding that transcends cultures. And by golly, I try to go to church on Sunday.

What have I done to be subjected to this?

When I think street taco, I think of a mound of carne asada with flies buzzing around it, hastily piled into a steamy tortilla with some sort of puree that is mostly jalapeƱo seeds. But let's not nitpick. One could also consider my dear Doritos Locos to be something of a street taco.

To be clear, my main qualm wasn't the divergence from the traditional definition of "taco." Rather, I was forced to wonder whether its creator had ever bothered to have a bite of one before. For a pile of marinated meat, gleaming mozzarella, and tangy chimichurri, all atop a thick slab of pita, refuses to be folded. The diner is systematically prohibited from eating with his hands, and a troubleshoot with ye ole knife and fork leads to inevitable wax tissue paper ingestion. Oh, the horror!

There's no eating this on any street, unless by street you mean sitting in front of your television with a tray and a bib.

Logistics aside, once I combed through the thinly-sliced beef tenderloin and fashioned a comprehensively edible mass out of the mess in the plastic basket, I rapidly attained a sense of satiety. Does this mean it was tasty? I'm not sure.

To La Familia Colina: Try replacing the stiff, store-bought pita bread with something more tortillaesque, if for no other reason than to facilitate successful consumption of the dish. Viva el taco.

Tommy Colina's is at 3558 Farnam Street, with a new location opening soon in the Wild West (Omaha) at 180th and Pacific Street. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tanduri Fusion

2537 South 175th Street (just north of West Center Road)
Open Tues - Thurs, Sun 11:30a.m. - 2p.m., 5p.m. -9p.m., Fri, Sat 11:30a.m. - 2p.m., 5p.m. - 10p.m.
Tanduri Fusion on Urbanspoon

Spinach Stuffed Naan and Mixed Appetizer

"Welcome to our real nice Family Restaurant," the website reads. Well, ghee, thanks. It was the last place I thought my friend'd pick for her 30-somethingth birthday festivities, but we didn't question it as we loaded into a couple of cars and hauled way out West.

The atmosphere, while "real nice" indeed, was also "generic strip mall," and I was turned off the music was turned off. Still, you don't see purple cloth napkins every day.

The Mixed Appetizer for four ($13.95) was an assortment of scrumptious fried things, although the coating of flour was much thicker and doughy than I'm used to on pakoras. The Malai Shish Kebab -- pieces of seasoned rolled lamb my dining buddies affectionately referred to as "butt holes" -- were the highlight of the first course.

Our minds might have been in the gutter, but our taste buds weren't. The Spinach Stuffed Naan ($3.95), akin to a chemical-free Lean Pocket, was adored by all. I was a hero for spontaneously requesting a side of Maah Dal ($4.25), a creamy and beany delight.

A few friends weren't in love with their biryani and tilapia dishes enough to marry them, but not every entree can be a winner. Make the trek here for Indian that isn't hyped up, like some other places in town. With lower expectations, you won't be disappointed.

Maah Dal --
As with most bean dishes, it's the beauty on the inside that counts.

Mulligatawny (served with entree, or $3.00) --
I found it rather limey. 

Tilapia, and more importantly, mint chutney

Chicken Vindaloo ($14.50) exactly what it should be --
piquant, rich sauce, but not too thick.
MAD PROPS for the chicken not being overcooked into the consistency of a baseball mitt.

Malai Shish Kebab detail