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Avatar Foods

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Hauptstraße 171 69117 Heidelberg

Considering that Kebab Haus next door was superior in virtually all aspects, it was only a matter of time before Super Fast Food packed up and left the Hauptstraße.  A few months later, a new fast food establishment took up shop in its place – Avatar Foods.  A completely renovated dining area, a new touch of paint, and the addition of Indian cuisine to the menu all make this recent addition to Heidelberg’s main street worth a visit for a quick meal.

Outside, elements of its predecessor still linger.  The place still looks bare.  The same white and orange shades remain; the name Super Fast Food merely blotched out.  The only restaurant sign, very tiny and hard to discern, can be seen through the windows.  Upon entering the single door entrance, the ordering counter is still the first thing you see.  Further inside, the place has been given a nice beige coating – a definite improvement over the ghastly orange hue of its predecessor.  The dining area has also been smartly refurbished.  The contemporary, marbled tables are a step up from the ancient wooden slabs.  Seating is either crimson red booths along the walls or cushioned wooden chairs.  Pink blossoms and green flora liven up the place.  Candles at each table also add a nice touch.  The flat screen television still remains, along with the hip hop tunes blasting from the speakers.

In regards to the food, Avatar still curiously retains components of its predecessor.  You can still find döner and other typical German fast food items here (again, why come here when its next door neighbor does it better?).  However, the menu is chiefly dominated by Indian specialties – curries, gosht, and Tandoori items, amongst others.  Drinks include Indian lassis with mango, banana, and cocoa.  Instead of offering student discounts, as Super Fast Food was known for, Avatar offers a special ‘Happy Hour’ after 7 PM.  During this evening exclusive, you can have any Indian dish (outside of the tandoori specialties) for only 5,00 €!  As many of the dishes normally range from five to seven euros, this is definitely a good deal.

 

The chicken tikka masala on basmati rice is a must.  In this dish, roasted chunks of chicken breast marvelously absorb the rich, orange colored tomato sauce curry.  The chicken possesses a striking amount of flavor; the sauce thick and creamy.  The fragrant aroma and delicate nature of the basmati rice is also a perfect complement to the bold flavors of the tikka masala.  You certainly won’t be complaining about the lack of meat – there is probably enough chicken to share the dish among two people.  Although the presentation is nothing to be excited about, the dazzling orange and red on the chicken is enough to make any fan of masala happy.

It’s hard to say whether this restaurant took full advantage of the Avatar craze by using it namesake.  Regardless, the buzz generated by the name alone doesn’t seem to have accomplished much as the place is seemingly empty on a weekday evening during their ‘Happy Hour’ special.  It’s too bad because Avatar Foods serves up enjoyable Indian food at very affordable prices.  Although the selection isn’t as large as other Indian fast food places in the city, the food they do offer is executed well.

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Summary:

Located along Heidelberg’s Hauptstraße, Avatar is a good Indian fast food restaurant with a fairly limited number of items on the menu.   ‘Happy Hour’ past 7 PM – all Indian dishes are 5,00 €.  Outdoor seating available.  Quick and efficient service.

Overall – 4 stars

  • Chicken Tikka Masala – 4.5/5
  • Service – 5/5

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Written by geschmack

May 12th, 2010 at 11:55 pm

Raja Rani

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Raja Rani 

Friedrichstraße 15 69117 Heidelberg

Living in a touristy city, particularly in a foreign country, certainly has its benefits.  Due to its history, status as a romantic town, and its sightseeing attractions, Heidelberg attracts millions of people from around the world each year.  In order to accommodate the varying tastes of visitors, countless ethnic restaurants have popped up all over the city.  Raja Rani is such a restaurant.  Here, visitors and residents alike can experience delicious Indian cuisine at extremely affordable prices.

 

Upon entering this relatively small eatery, you are immediately met with a service counter where trays of curry and soups are waiting in a buffet warmer.  The menu board is well illuminated and quite large– there are over 100 items to choose from.  As with any other fast food joint, Raja Rani is an order your food, get your own cutlery, and bus your own plate restaurant.  This means there are no waiters, no tableside service.  Essentially, Raja Rani is a no frills restaurant.  Sure, there are a few Indian sculptures sitting on top of a shelf, some Indian tapestry, photos of India, and Indian music coming from the speakers.  But aside from that, the place and the plates are rather ordinary.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing because the food here is not only good, but also reasonably priced.

 

The Chicken Tandoori Masala – chunks of grilled chicken breast in a spicy sauce, served on Basmati rice – is exceptionally flavorful.  The chicken is large and plentiful in comparison to the amount of rice given.  It has a nice savory taste due to the sauce, which is full of spices.   Although the menu advertises the sauce as being spicy, it is anything but.  However, there is a small station near the counter where you can get extremely spicy green chili peppers.  The only negative to the Tandoori Masala was the condition in which the food was served – it wasn’t piping hot when I got it.  Although the chicken and sauce was scooped and served practically within seconds, I would have definitely waited longer to have a hot meal.  By the time I was halfway done eating, the chicken was beginning to get cold.  There are two sizes for this dish – a small plate for 3,90 € and a larger one at 5,90 €.

 

The Lamb Curry is aromatic and also a hit.  The curry has a nice, pungent flavor that complements the lamb well.  As for the meat itself, it has a slight gamey taste to it.  Unlike the Chicken Tandoori though, the lamb curry was scooped hot and steaming.

In order to wash everything down, a tall glass of Mango Lassi – a traditional Indian yogurt drink with mango pulp – is recommended.  It is sort of like a mango smoothie, though not too sweet.  This drink is quite popular as there is an entire fridge full of Mango Lassi glasses waiting to be served!  It is refreshing and, at 2,00 € for a 0,4 liter glass, is quite a bargain.

Without a doubt, the inconsistency in the food temperatures is difficult to ignore.  Aside from this problem, though, the food at Raja Rani is delicious and bold in flavor.

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Summary:

Located near the Hauptstraße, Raja Rani is an Indian fast food restaurant serving up traditional favorites, such as curry, Tandoori, and a large selection of vegetarian dishes.  Very inexpensive.

Overall – 4 stars

  • Chicken Tandoori Masala – 4/5
  • Lamm Curry (Lamb Curry) – 4/5
  • Mango Lassi – 3.5/5
  • Service – 5/5

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Written by geschmack

December 11th, 2009 at 7:37 pm