Written by on December 12, 2010 in I Eat Seattle, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(cedarsseattle.com) – University District
How I heard of this place: While I am at a loss for who first introduced me to Cedars and when it was, one of my first recollections of eating at this establishment is in August of 2002 or 2003, when a group of us celebrated May’s birthday there before heading out to the Argosy salsa cruise and dancing the night away!
Type of cuisine: A unique blend of Indian and Mediterranean cuisines, including “Baba Ghannoj and Hummus to Shish Taouk and Shish Kababs. A wide selection of curries in which organic spices are used giving them a distinct unreplicable taste. Our tandoor is most famous for freshly baking over 14 different kinds delicious naan breads. Chai tea is the heart of every indian restaurant and has to be made to perfection each and every time. The chefs at Cedars carefully use a secret blend of tea, spice’s and milk in each brew. Simmered until in flavor texture color and aroma match that of the best cup of chai you ever had. Cedar’s is perfect for indian chai lovers as we offer you free refills, your cups never empty at Cedars.” Continuing on their website, one reads, “Cedars Restaurant serves a variety of savory recipes from India’s rich tapestry of culture and culinary traditions. Every dish is meticulously prepared in authentic Indian home-style, using only natural spices and ingredients. We never add preservatives or artificial colorings. As a result Cedars Restaurant many delectable dishes are lean, low in fat and healthy.”
Ambiance: A large establishment split into many smaller spaces to create a level of intimacy and cozy flair as the room fills up with diners and servers. The space feels dimly lit in the night air of winter, as diners sit alongside floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto Brooklyn Avenue and the corner of NE 50th Street in the University District. A smaller back room and a side room as you enter are also available for seating, or for slightly larger parties to enjoy a more private space. Desserts, such as baklava and halva are displayed in the front, by the cashier’s desk, as you enter to tempt your taste buds and engage the salivary glands. Specialty Indian seasonings, spices and ghee are sold from the room at the side. Minimal decorations in this house-turned-restaurant are found, but the feeling is cozy, bustling, and warm.
What I ordered: This was the first time my parents had sampled Indian food in over 30 years, so we ordered a couple of items that sounded good to them, and would give them a small hint to the delicious flavors of the cuisine. Being the biggest fan of bread that I know, my mom ensured that we had an order of garlic naan ($2.50) at our table, first thing! That, and drinks – including one mango lassi ($3.50) and one unsweetened, plain lassi ($3), each made with homemade yogurt, milk and rosewater (and mango for the aforementioned). For dinner, seeing as how the portions are larger, we ordered two dishes to be shared among us, family style: butter chicken ($13.95), a five-star (spice-level) chicken dish, with the meat simmered in a rich and smooth butter, tomato, and cream sauce, and tandoori chicken tikka ($13.95), succulent pieces of boneless chicken rubbed with Indian herbs and spices, served with sliced onions and lemons. Both dishes also came with rice. For dessert, the three of us shared a large triangle of baklava ($3.25), a delicious Middle Eastern pastry made up of nuts baked between layers of thin dough and steeped in syrup that has been flavored with exotic juices.
What I loved: I often most prefer the butter chicken, but on this visit, the tandoori chicken tikka, moist, tender and full of flavor sealed the deal! My parents also loved the dishes, my mom enjoying the fresh garlic stuffed naan the most and my dad loving the extreme spice of the butter chicken.
Why I loved it: We were seated quickly, the food was served immediately and the portions large enough to satisfy all three of us!
Cost: Average ($12-$15 per dinner entree)

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