A Taste of Nepal + India… in Baltimore!
Though there may only be a handful of decent places to eat in the DC Area, Baltimore (less than an hour’s drive north) is a city that’s thriving with great eats. After Artscape on Saturday evening, fellow Baltimore fibers + sculpture artist and good friend of mine Janie Ehle and I were famished, so we went on the search for a delicious meal in the Mt. Vernon Arts District. It was a toss between Afghan, Thai and Indian food. She recommended a restaurant called Kumari (911 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201) which features dishes from both India and Nepal. We agreed to eat here, and man, did we make the right choice!
Our meal started out with peppery pappadam chips dipped in your choice of the following sauces: tangy tamarind sauce, minty green mint chutney and blood-red sweet & sour peppers (free refills) and an appetizer of chaat papdi. This can be described as Indian-style nachoes, consisting of tomatoes, onions, yogurt sauce, chickpeas, crushed baked potatoes mixed with crunchy and long diamond-shaped roti crackers. The rest of the meal was extremely flavorful and made my taste buds sing. J got a typical Nepalese vegetarian dinner called Daal Bhatset, which was a heaping plateful of pureed yellow lentil soup, veggie curry, mango chutney and aloo achar, a curried based potato salad. I got a creamy red based vegetarian curry that I cannot remember the name of, but it was fused with onions, bell peppers, cauliflower and other spices. The rice was probably the best part of both our meals: white basmati topped with green cilantro, cinnamon, cumin and almonds. AND… it was free (unlike some places in DC that make you pay for it). Mmmmm… it can’t get any better than that!
The portions are huge, so unless you are super hungry, you can always get a to-go box and take the rest of your food home to enjoy later. Dinner entrees range from around $11 – 20, depending on what you order, but in my opinion, the quality and portion size of the food is totally worth it. They also feature a lunch buffet with your typical Nepalese-Indian fare, delicious naan bread and all you can drink chai tea. Now that’s a reason to keep going back!