Taste of Spice is my new favorite Indian restaurant.
Wait. Scratch that. Rewind, rerecord, play: Taste of Spice is my favorite new restaurant, period, in Fredericksburg.
A completely unexpected, savory, melt-in-your-mouth delight in Cosner’s Corner. With ambiance aplenty, sincere and caring servers, and white fabric tablecloths to boot.
I’d like to officially thank my friend and colleague, artist extraordinaire, Collette Caprara, for recommending this for review.
Let’s start with the atmosphere. This is a lovely place. You know how in some restaurants, you get hit over the head with art to remind you of the culinary culture?
Nothing so gawdy or overpowering here—rather, diners are treated to simple, tasteful art of different styles from India and Nepal, discreetly positioned on the walls, and gentle, soothing Indian music.
The dining room is big, with the aforementioned tablecloths setting it apart.
On the night I went (yes, solo, an unusual sojourn indeed), two sets of Indian diners were enjoying their meals: one, a large extended family; the other, a group of young men.
I was seated with a friendly smile from my server, and just sat there for a minute before I even picked up the menu, enjoying the delicious scent of Indian cuisine, and the refined presentation of menu, the unique and artistic shape of the dishes and glasses, and general quietly relaxing vibe.
I was alone on this evening, but I did not forsake my duty, dear reader. I sampled multiple dishes, brought some home for next day, and can confidently report that the chef is a master across the board.
For an appetizer, the Vegetable Samosa ($3.95). This was exquisite, and set the tone for what was to be a memorable dining experience. A combination of peas, potatoes, herbs and spices, wrapped in a crisp pastry, this is not to be missed.
There were two of these, nicely sized and interestingly wrapped in triangle patterns.
Next up was a scrumptious serving of Daal Makhani ($10.95). Daal is an Indian/regional specialty—essentially a thick soup of legumes, in this case, lentils. These lentils were accompanied by ginger, garlic, cilantro and cream. And Oh. My. Goodness. I really was enjoying this.
(And don’t worry, dear reader: I was not overeating. Instead, I ate samples of all, and had enough leftovers for two more meals.)
Next came the Lamb Curry ($12.95), described as “a tasty dish of lamb cooked in a combination of herbs and our special spices served in curry sauce.”
I cannot tell a lie: This melted in your mouth, with a gentle explosion of delicate flavor. This was served as requested: medium spicy. Enough to make you know it, but not so strong that you lose the flavor of the dish.
Special note to those unfamiliar with Indian cuisine, or worried about spicy: As with Thai food, you can order your dish according to your taste. So, no worries.
One really should experience some traditional dishes for sake of comparison to other restaurants in the same category. I decided to try the Chicken Vindaloo ($12.95).
This classic mix of meat, spices, cinnamon and potatoes is served as a spicy curry (thick sauce)—and while I’ve enjoyed this dish in multiple spots over the years, this was among the best vindaloo I’ve had.
The chicken was not quite as tender as the lamb, but still delicate and bursting with taste-bud sensation.
All of this was accompanied by the best Garlic Naan ($3.95) I have ever had. Naan is Indian flatbread cooked in a clay oven.
Here, it’s made fresh on-site (as all the dishes were here) and just perfect. Really, do get this when you go to Taste of Spice.
Has this review been over-the-top praise? If so, I’ve done it justice.
Fredericksburg is lucky to have this new site, and long may it delight our palates and reward our sense of adventure for trying an Indian cuisine restaurant in a random spot that hits a home run first time at the plate.