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Milan.

So, not sure if this counts as a “review” but technically, it does stand as the first take-out meal we had in Charlottesville. During our first week, drowning in boxes from the move, we somehow located the phone book in all the mess and placed a takeout order from Milan on Route 29.

Gone were the days when we would just call up Wheel Deliver and place an order! Oh the humanity! Now, out here in the sticks, he would actually have to drive 1/2 an hour or so to pick it up. But considering we had NO IDEA where any of our pots and pans were and had spent the last two days eating microwaveable pizza, Indian takeout seemed a delicious option.

We had spent that morning with Phillip, our new bank manager – opening accounts and getting a safety deposit box, new PIN numbers, etc. That is a story in itself considering Phillip was a South Londoner with a strong interest in Chelsea football (soccer). What could have been a boring, 1-hour chore turned into a delightful 3-hour discussion about how Eric Cantona was an ass. We didn’t even get to talk about Fugly Mcfugginton Wayne Rooney (I’m saving that for when I have to go make a deposit).

Anyway, Phillip highly recommended Milan, an Indian place just down the road. He said their Chicken Tikka Masala was “gorgeous” which coming from a South Londoner, is the highest of praise. He further told us not to be put off by the name, that while Italian-sounding, “Milan” actually means “meeting place” in Hindi. Not sure about that, but what the hell, Indian sounded good.

Now because of a fiasco with spicy Bloody Marys that I refuse to go into, my tummy wasn’t feeling up to par, so instead of the chicken tikka, I went with some biryani rice. Husband ordered some sort of lamb curry dish – I know, I know, but in the haze of unpacking I forgot to write down what he ordered (bad reviewer! bad reviewer!). Anyway, we topped it off with some naan, and some vegetable pakora to start.

He wasn’t gone that long, despite the afternoon “rush hour” (which still makes me laugh – coming from Pittsburgh – Route 29 looks like a ghost town compared to anything PGH can dish up). I was upstairs unpacking books, when a delicious smell wafted up my way. A very good sign.

I’ll keep it short and simple – feel like I should considering this was a takeout order and not a true visit to the establishment. The pakora was good, not great, but good. A little greasy, heavy on the crunchy parts, not so much vegetable. Not the worst I’ve had, but not the best either (Hey, it’s hard to compare any pakor to Glasgow pakora at 2am after a night at the pub, which is the absolute pinnacle of pakora).

The biryani was very good – full of nuts, fruit, spice, and vegetables. I’ve had it where it was so plain you thought you had ordered white rice, but this wasn’t that. This was yummy.

Had just a bite of the husband’s lamb – also very yummy and rich. The naan, however, wasn’t so great. I thought it was too thick for my taste, and to me, tasted like a pancake (husband didn’t agree and thought it tasted fine). I’ve had it thinner and crispier too, though, and prefer it this way. Next time I’ll order garlic naan – that’ll be the true test. Are they stingy? Or do they really garlic it up? We’ll see.

Also, we ordered heat level “5” which in Pittsburgh, is truly that. Here a heat level of “5” is more like a “3” – next time I’ll go to “8”.

The yummiest part of the dinner, I thought, were the sauces that came with the meal. Mint chutney to DIE for, tamarind sauce that was out of this world, and a tahini-yogurt-type-thingy that was really yummy on my pakora (and drizzled on the rice). They even give you a tiny sample of rice pudding – too sweet for me, but yummy nonetheless.

All in all, Milan did a fine job. We will be making a date soon to visit their lunch buffet which I also hear from Phillip is “gorgeous”. Thanks for the warm welcome Milan (and Phillip), we’ll be visiting again soon. And I’ll get around to trying that chicken tikka masala.

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