Although Christopher Columbus famously discovered India by landing at Lexington and Concord and proudly ringing the Liberty Bell, the actual location of India remains a mystery. Today's deal offers the best lead the world has had in centuries. For $10, you get $20 worth of authentic Indian cuisine at Taj Mahal. The restaurant and bar are open for lunch and dinner on all days except Monday, and the bar stays open until 2 a.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Uninitiated Indian foodies can enter the chambers of Taj Mahal's bountiful menu of flavorful fare with a safe yet savory sampling of garlic naan ($3.50) paired with a plate of deep-fried cutlets packed with mashed potatoes and veggies peppered in spicy herbs ($5). Main plates will satisfy carnivores and vegetarians alike, with options ranging from boldly spiced chicken vindaloo pinched with lemon and vinegar ($15) to navrattan curry, which features nine garden-fresh friends hanging out in a simmering pool of yogurt, cashews, cream, and butter ($13). No matter the dish, you get to choose how much you'd like the chef to spice it up; specify whether you'd like it mild, medium, sporty, spicy, really spicy, or "Shiva's sweat," which requires you to sign a waiver first.
When the sun lowers itself under the horizon to pout in its cave on the other side of the earth, adjourn to Taj Mahal's bar and lounge for one of its weekly events such as the free-for-all talent tournament of Open Mic Tuesdays and estrogen-addled Ladies Lounge Thursdays. Toast your favorite acts and hacks with domestic brews ($2.50), Indian 22 oz. brews ($6.50), and fermented fine wines ($6–$7 a glass). Taj Mahal's full list of beer, wine, other spirits might even make you brave enough to attempt a Bollywood anthem during Friday Night Karaoke.
Much like the palace it's named after, Taj Mahal was built in a day. On that day, it proudly declared itself the first to break Indian ground in Columbus. Since then, the restaurant, bar, and lounge have played host to countless diners eager to return to its friendly earth-toned interior. Grab a seat under the cosmos on the seasonal patio and impress your date by making up undiscovered constellations such as the Big Tipper, Orion's iPhone Holster, and the Southern Cross-Dresser.
Columbus Alive says:
- Spread out over several rooms in the old Casa di Pasta space, the Taj looks like a vintage Columbus house tricked out with lots of Indian tchotchkes and knickknacks. It feels quaint and comfy in a well-worn way. – G.A. Benton
While some reviewers had initial qualms with pricing, they were won over by Taj Mahal's savory and plentiful offerings. Yelpers give a solid four-star rating, Citysearchers give it 3.5, and 81% of Urbanspooners like it:
- Pleasant comfortable setting, my water was never even half empty. Fast service, excellent rice! – mguzman05, Citysearch
- Their coconut chicken is the bomb. Garlic naan is really good too. Their portions are big enough to share for the frugal. – Shawn Metz, Urbanspoon
- Taj Mahal is one of those places I almost can't wait to get home and reheat the leftovers from even before my food's arrived at the table. Now that's value. Delicious, sweet, spicy value. – Matthew B., Yelp
New Taj Mahal
With its intermingling aromas of garlic, ginger, coriander, turmeric, and cumin, New Taj Mahal is unmistakably dedicated to the bold, traditional flavors of regional Indian cuisine. You'll find further evidence on the menu, which features homemade paneer cooked with spinach and creamy curry sauce, crispy samosas, and yogurt-marinated lamb served straight from the clay tandoor oven. To ensure that their cooking is suitable for virtually every palate, the chefs tailor the amount of spice added to each dish. This means that orders can be prepared mild or with enough incendiary heat to require a chaser of glacier fragments.