For the past year I’ve been thinking I should start a food blog because I love blogging and am eager to try new things and support local businesses. In my blog you’ll discover some practical knowledge that’s handy before heading out to try a new eatery, but also the typical what I liked/didn’t like. I’ll also include times and what products are served for soft drinks because that’s important to me!
For my first review let’s go to
Astoria Indian Grill
This is a newer restaurant with a drive-thru at 3242 N. Rock Road Ste. 118. Their phone number is 316-351-5544 and website is www.astoriawichita.com
My experience was a little unusual but the food was stellar. If you don’t want to read the rest of the review I’ll tell you now: GO! I’m a huge fan of quality Indian food and Astoria hit the mark. The aroma outside had my mouth watering before I even placed my order!
Where: If you’re a “landmark” person like I am this restaurant is about a block north of the 29th and Rock Wal-Mart, across the street from the Popeye’s and directly behind the Dairy Queen. It’s also in the same strip mall as Wasabi. Parking spots were non-existent which is typical in this location; I’d plan to just park nearby and walk anytime it’s busy.
My adventure began at 7:05 P.M. on a busy Friday night.I pulled up to the restaurant drive-thru but no one answered…I even did the “hello?” a couple of times to no avail. Then I pulled up to the little window but the kitchen staff was obviously really busy and no one came to the window.
Now, at 7:08 (see how seriously I’m taking the food blogging) I walked in and waited in line for about a minute then placed my order.
Or rather, tried to place my order. I had spent some time in the drive thru figuring out my order and was ready to go but the inside menu was MASSIVE and didn’t include any of the combos that were in the drive-thru. I pulled up the picture I had taken of the drive-thru menu to order but the person taking my order was a little confused; well, more than a little confused. After about a minute of me trying to order a three entree combo (saying the exact words for foods on the drive-thru menu) he ended up telling me I couldn’t order “vegetable entrees and meat entrees” in the same combo. So I showed him the picture on my cell phone and pointed out that every entree I was ordering was under the ENTREE category. Then he told me you can’t order the drive-thru menu inside the restaurant, so I just asked if I could anyway since I’d just waited outside and didn’t really want to re-create the order from the extensive menu before me.
Then things got really confusing where I’d order one thing and then he’d repeat it back to me using a different name. I literally stood there and googled the food on the drive-thru menu and showed him the picture. I have no idea why we had such a big communication issue, but be sure to go in with a lot of patience. Perhaps this is only an issue if you’re trying to order from the Drive-Thru menu. Fortunately I wasn’t starving because I can go from hungry to hangry in no time at all. With a few smiles and pointing out foods on my phone, I was able to place my order.
My order was entered at 7:14 P.M.: Chicken Tikka Masala, Butter Chicken and Spinach Paneer. Remember if you want this combo to hit up the drive-thru! Each meal also came with enough rice to satisfy the hungriest hungry hungry hippo and garlic naan, even though it didn’t specify which type of naan the meal would come with. (I very much appreciated the garlic naan as other restaurants in the area charge more for the garlic added, if you don’t like garlic perhaps specify you’d like plain.)
I was told to come back in 15 minutes when I placed the order. Since the place was packed I waited 20 and came back then was asked to wait a bit more. The order taker, despite the earlier confusion, was polite and I had no problem with our mis-communication and no problem with waiting longer because the smells coming from the kitchen were really starting to make my mouth water. I received my order at 7:42 and let me tell you: it was 1000% worth the wait. Now, if I’m starving usually anything will taste good, but I was medium hungry and this food was totally amazing. The server did ask me to check my order, and I said I was sure it was fine…mostly because after waiting 30 minutes I probably would have eaten anything…I went straight to my car, got my steering wheel lunch tray (best $10 you can spend if you need to eat in your car often)
First up was this Spinach Paneer dish in its own little container.
I’m calling it spinach paneer because this created quite a bit of confusion when I ordered. Wow! After eating Trader Joe’s spinach paneer about once a week during the pandemic, this was a little breath of heaven. Perfectly seasoned to my liking and piping hot! A little too piping hot so I set that one aside and carefully opened the main entree holder. Now I was expecting my two chicken dishes but instead I only got one. I’m 79% certain I got the Tikka Masala and no butter chicken. Just to make sure they were really the same dish I tried them both many times….and with rice…and with the butter naan.
Let’s take a minute to talk about rice. My heart doc told me to avoid white rice and I told her “no problemo,” as I don’t even like white rice. All that changed tonight. This was easily the best white rice I’ve ever had in my life hands down. It practically floated into my mouth, was light and fluffy and ever so slightly seasoned in a way that complimented the other dishes. I’ve of course tried rice at many other restaurants, including Indian restaurants and never had a texture and taste like this! If this is what white rice is supposed to taste like then I guess I now have a passion for white rice because I can’t wait to experience that again. Which brings me to my next paragraph…
Quantity: The portions were good sized and I was impressed with the quality. For $14.99 I received three entrees (albeit two were the same,) enough rice to feed a family of four and a small but sufficient piece of garlic naan that I of course at all of. I kept meaning to stop eating it but it magically disappeared (along with way too much of that rice; sorry Dr K. I’ll do better in the future!) This meal was enough to feed me today as well as lunch tomorrow and if I hadn’t been a total glutton probably three meals.
Spice: I would describe the spice level as mild-medium which is exactly what I like.
Restaurant was PACKED but I heard a few people thank their server as they left so they must have had as good a meal as I did.
This restaurant serves coca-cola products and traditional Indian beverages.
Cons: Incorrect order. I waited inside which has an exposed kitchen to the dining room so I now smell like cooking oil. Length of time it took to receive order (28 minutes.) No silverware or napkins (I had some in my car) were put in the bag or near the door for takeout orders. The container was a bit overfull and had leaked in the bag so plan for that. I look forward to going here again when I have plenty of time.
I didn’t get a drink and instead opted to get a kid’s cone at the Dairy Queen on the way home which cooled my mouth off. The Dairy Queen would be an excellent bribe for kids who are maybe not super excited about Indian food.
What I’m excited to try in the future: just about anything considering how great my meal was. I’d “add a drink and 1 samosa to the combo for $3” because that seems like a great idea, and for dessert that carrot halwa dessert that I love. Mango lassi too…