Pizza place does fine job with Indian dishes

TAKEOUT

Offerings compare to what's served at sit-down restaurants

October 16, 2002|By Tom Waldron | Tom Waldron,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Do not let the name fool you.

Yes, Mt. Washington Pizza & Subs sells pizza and subs -- as well as salads, hamburgers, fried seafood and pasta -- most of it prepared adequately. But what this humble eatery should be known for is its extensive Indian menu. While Mt. Washington is a carryout, its Indian dishes compare well with those I've had at fancy sit-down restaurants.

I've ordered deliveries from Mt. Washington before, but this time I decided to visit the place at the other end of the phone line. It occupies a handsome brick building with high ceilings that once served as the village's post office.

Now, it's a carryout factory. Behind a long counter, seven people worked away under fluorescent lights in the open kitchen. A television showed a football game nobody was watching. The only decoration was a framed photograph of a lovely schooner.

But despite the drab surroundings, the service was pleasant enough, and our food was ready in only a few minutes. We skipped the usual burgers and pasta and went for Indian dishes. The fried vegetable samosas, two for $2.25, were crispy on the outside and stuffed with a peppery mix of potatoes, peas and other vegetables on the inside.

The chicken tikka masala ($10.45) was delicious: a tomato-based sauce laced with spices and onion, with big chunks of white meat, ladled over an ample serving of yellow rice.

Lamb biryani ($10.95) was another good rice dish, highlighted by nice pieces of seasoned lamb, plump golden raisins and a healthy sprinkle of spices. It came with a mint-flavored yogurt sauce.

The pizza, which was demanded by the youngest member of the household, was a no-frills, medium-crust variety.

We took advantage of the two-for-one deal, getting two small pizzas, one with sausage, for $8.90.

Mt. Washington serves two Indian desserts, a light pastry called gulab jaman ($2.25) and kheer, a cold and refreshing rice pudding ($2).

Parking sometimes is hard to find in Mount Washington; if you live in the area, it's probably advisable to order delivery rather than make the trek to this dependable carryout.

Mt. Washington Pizza & Subs

Food: ***

Service: ***1/2

Waiting area: **

Parking: *1/2

Where: 1620 Kelly Ave., Mount Washington

Phone: 410-664-1111

Hours: 11 a.m. to midnight daily

Pizza, subs and sandwiches, $2 to $10.75; Indian entrees from $8.45 to $12.75; credit cards accepted for pickup items

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