Tag Archives: Recommendations

Shalimar India, Portsmouth, N.H.: Tasty, Authentic Indian Food, Great Ambience & Decent Prices.

P1090172Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.



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by
Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
++++ Check Categories ‘restaurants’ & ‘reviews’ >>>>


shalimar11

Click to access their eye-catching and rather slick Website.

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I am no stranger to the Shalimar. They have been in Portsmouth for 21 years and I have been going there, always eagerly, for at least 15 years — though, alas and alack, not as often as I would like, since we really don’t get down to Portsmouth that often.

We, however, did go to the newly redecorated, “Best of NH” 2009 to 2013, Shalimar, at 80 Hanover St., Portsmouth yesterday evening — that being Boxing Day.

bestofnhlogoIt was a cold, wet, snowy and dreary December night, and as you opened the door to the Shalimar you were greeted, warmly, by a gently waft of curry in the air. You, knew at once, that you were going to be nice and cozy inside; a temporary oasis away from the Winter.

They have redecorated the Shalimar, with great care and panache, over the Summer. Deanna noticed it at once. I have always liked the layout. It is very airy and the large picture window at the front ensures that feels open. You have privacy in the booths but the way they are laid out makes sure that you still get to see the comings and goings in the rest of the restaurants. The Mughal pillar silhouettes very cleverly painted on the walls definitely makes you feel like you are in an historic Mughal Palace in the Punjab (where the restaurant owner and cook, Mr. Harbhajan Singh comes from). Bravo. Nice touch. They also, for a change, have an impressive and informative Website. To me such touches indicate that they are thinking about the business and want to excel. That they have received the “Best of NH” for five years kind of confirms that.

This was the first time I had been to an Indian restaurant since I started my low-carb diet in January. So, I had to be careful as to what I ordered, plus, Devanee, the other Indian food aficionado in the family, was not with us. So in reality we didn’t order anything like the range and volume of food we had in the past.

I know that most folks in New Hampshire shy away from Indian restaurants because they are not sure about how and what to order. The Shalimar (where the name, befitting the new decorations on the walls, denotes a Mughal garden), to their credit, tries to make it easy for those that are still trying to unlock the mysterious delights of a full repertoire Indian menu — like the one they offer. They have vegetarian and non-vegetarian appetizer (sampler) platters and and combo ‘special dinners’ for 1, 2 or 4. That is good. They also have a lunchtime buffet — where you can sample a lot of different dishes.

We ordered the non-vegetarian  appetizer platter and 4 Samosas, two vegetarian (for Deanna and Teischan) and two with minced lamb for me. The Samosas, as I knew they would be, were first class. The minced lamb with a couple of peas were outstanding. The platter, overall, was good and well worth the $10.95. Teischan gobbled up all the chicken in record time.

I ordered my de rigeur Lamb Korma. I can and will eat extremely hot curry but I don’t feel the need to eat as such when I go to a restaurant like the Shalimar. Hot curries are easy to make and I can, with paste that I buy, make a curry, at home, that exfoliates 4 layers of cells from my intestines. When I go to a class joint like the Shalimar I want the subtle, delicate Indian treats that I can’t make at home. Hence the Korma. A Korma, when cooked well, with its spices and nuts, makes you feel like an Mughal emperor. The Shalimar did not disappoint. It was the first time in my life I had eaten a Lamb Korma sans carbs — Biryani and a stuffed, typically an Aloo, Paratha (potato stuffed, fried bread). But, eating it on its own was good. Just the taste of the Korma. I enjoyed it.

I did order an Aloo Paratha for Deanna (who likes them too) and a Saag Paneer — spinach with cubed, cooked cheese. It was good.

I did not have my customary Kulfi — Indian ice cream with almonds. I did, however, given my need for daily yogurt, have a Lasi — a yogurt shake. It was refreshing.

I had a glass, of course, of Pinot Noir and some coffee.

It was a great meal. We were there for about 80 minutes. Despite the lousy weather outside there was a respectable crowd at the Shalimar. Since we were about the last to leave we got a chance to have a long chat with the owner’s middle daughter, Kulbir Kaur, a recent graduate from UNH. She was very nice and told us a lot about their family and business. We were impressed.

Not much that I can say that will bolster the accolades they already have, but I give this Indian restaurant my unstinted praise. I will be going there again, as soon as I can (diet permitting).


We Went To The ‘Pink Cadillac’ In Rochester, NH For Mother’s Day. It Was ‘OK’.

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by
Anura Guruge


Some Other Restaurant Related Posts:
1. Circle Restaurant, Epson Mar. 2, 2013.
2. Red Arrow Diner, Manchester Apr. 8, 2012.

3. Sea Bird, Wolfeboro Dec. 10, 2012.
4. Giuseppe’s, Meredith Oct. 11, 2012.


This year’s Mother’s Day plans had to be curtailed because it was ‘Clearlakes Chorale‘ concert weekend for Devanee (and don’t ask me why they would pick Mother’s Day weekend for their concerts). She had to be there before 1pm on Sunday and the concert wasn’t going to finish till about 4pm. Deanna and Teischan attended the Sunday concert, I having gone to the Saturday night performance. So, the plan was to meet at the new ‘Rusty Moose‘ in Alton, have a meal and then go plant shopping in Rochester for Deanna — that being the family tradition, Deanna getting plants for her garden boxes and flower beds for the Summer.

I got to the ‘Rusty Moose’ at 4:10pm as planned. It was CLOSED!

P1020619So, given that it was a beautiful day, we proceeded to Rochester via the back roads of New Durham finally ending up in Farmington. We made a truly serendipitous discovery: this amazing antique place, called the “Ol’ Shoe Store”. It was closed. It is only open Saturday’s from 10 to 4. We are going. I happen to notice the large moose and pulled in. We peeked in through the windows. They have a beautiful, wooden, carved nude that I would love to have. We are going to go there one of these Saturdays.

We stopped at Walmart to see if they had plants that met the needs. They did. We were there for a long time as we are wont to do. So it was past 6pm when we got out of there.

Deanna and kids were ravenous by then so we didn’t have time to venture far. We drove by the ‘new’ Mexican diner. Somehow seems incongruous to try and eat Mexican in NH in a gleaming, aluminum, classic 50s diner. The next eating place was the ‘Pink Cadillac’. For whatever reasons we had never been there before though we stop at the gas station, often.

We decided to give it a try. It wasn’t busy. Not counting the bar area they appear to have 4 separate rooms, two main ones on either side of the bar. One is bright, cheery, with new tables and packed with Coca-Cola memorabilia. The other is dark and dingy with some beat up tables (sporting signs saying that they are soon to be renovated). I guess we didn’t make the cut to make the better dining room. It was probably me. But we are glad they put us in the dingy room because we got an outstanding waitress. IF not for her this write up would be much different. She was the main redeeming point of that diner.

It was ‘OK’ and that is about as far as we can go. Funnily enough I was talking to somebody who had also eaten there recently and she said the same thing: ‘average, and that is about it’. Not in the same league as the ‘Red Arrow‘ or the ‘Circle Restaurant‘.

I wanted the steak. They had run out. Ended up with steak tips. I ordered appetizer triple, one of the items being the fried mushrooms. The mushrooms were cold! I substituted a small salad for my included potato for a $1 more and got 2 forkfuls of insipid greens. C’est la vie. We were not impressed. Doubt whether we will go there anytime soon. But, I am sure there are lost of folks in the Rochester area that have no issues with it. Good for them.

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Circle Restaurant, Epsom Traffic Circle, Rte 28, in Epson, NH: I Was Impressed. Now On My Radar.

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by
Anura Guruge


Some of our other favorite restaurants in NH:
1. Red Arrow Diner, Manchester — Apr. 8, 2012.
2. Sea Bird, Wolfeboro — Dec. 10, 2012.
3. Giuseppe’s, Meredith — Oct. 11, 2012.


Circle Restaurant, Epsom Traffic Circle, Rte 28, in Epson, NH. [Image from Yelp, by ‘Ian W.]


Circle Restaurant, Epsom Traffic Circle, Rte 28, in Epson, NH. [Image from Yelp, by ‘Ian W.]


Google Map view of the Circle Restaurant,  Epsom, NH

Google Map view of the Circle Restaurant, Epsom, NHfter


After getting foiled at the stupid Manchester Science Museum yesterday, we were at a loose end. Deanna suggested that we go to the Huge ‘Goodwill’ store they have on Rte 3, close to Merrimack. So I cut across town and got there. Yes, we then, and Deanna will claim that it was mainly me, proceeded to spent 4 times what it would have cost at the museum. I still felt kind of guilty that the kids didn’t get to go to the museum — though they did get a (as usual) very nice lunch at the ‘Red Arrow Diner’ — and even got to sit and eat with a local, business ‘VIP’. It was a good lunch.

The kids, as ever, wanted to go to another restaurant — but, Teischan didn’t want to go to “Applebee’s” because we had just been their on Tuesday (in Tilton). So, I am driving back on Rte 28 thinking where to go. I was thinking of stopping at “Dominicks” (near Barnstead) where we had eaten a few times before. Then I sailed around the circle and was proceedings along Rte 28 when I drove past the Circle Restaurant.

We had had breakfast there before. I always thought it was only open for breakfast and lunch. But, as I was driving past I saw cars and lights. There was no traffic, so I pulled a U.

Glad we went. It was fun. It was good. It was cheap — especially the red wine at $2.75 a glass! I had two and got Deanna to drive home.

Warm place — in all aspects. Very friendly. Sense of fun.

Good, decent food. Nothing pretentious. Prices just right. Kids liked it.

Since I am off carbs, I had the meat loaf and a salad. It was good. That they don’t charge $6 to $12 for a glass of house wine definitely appealed to me. I even commended them on it. Even at that they are making a profit — since we are here talking ‘no name’ house wine, that they can buy in 5 gallon boxes for $12.99. Bravo. [By the way, I have lost 10 pounds in a month. Deanna is livid.]

They are on my list, and as such we will go back.

Google Maps 'street view'. It must have been dusk when they drove by.

Google Maps ‘street view’. It must have been dusk when they drove by.