September 24, 2011

Restaurant and Grocery Review: Namaste India Groceries and Kitchen

This is something of an unusual post for us, in that we don't have any original pictures.   This is what happens when you forget to bring your camera.  

Anyhow, about Namaste.

Namaste India Groceries and Kitchen is, as the name would suggest, both an Indian grocery store and an Indian restaurant.  While it isn't our favorite local choice in either category - we prefer India Star as Indian restaurants go, and Maria Grocery as Indian groceries go - it is nonetheless pretty good on both counts.  As the restaurant side of the business goes, they serve pretty typical Indian fare, most of it pretty good.  They have a lunch buffet, but we've never eaten there for lunch and thus can't comment on the quality of the buffet.  As a grocery, they are quite good, with a nice range of produce - including some things  I've rarely seen at Maria Grocery - and they also happen to be a good source for some unusual ingredients.   Goat, for instance, is not easy to find in Des Moines, but they are well-stocked at Namaste.  They also have a pretty good selection of frozen Indian dishes.  Maria has an overall better selection of stuff we use most often, though, and some of the produce - the mangos, for example - are far superior to what we've seen at Namaste.

On this occasion, we ate at the restaurant.  We had vegetable samosas, matar paneer (peas and cheese in a curry gravy) and lamb vindaloo, plus a double order of naan.  All were quite good, with the matar paneer being the stand-out of the bunch. 

While the food was quite good, the service on this occasion left something to be desired.  I dont' recall it being quite this bad at past visits, but Juli says she recalls the service being pretty poor on other visits as well.  Either way, I was less than pleased with tonight's service.  While the waiter was in a hurry to get our order, he didn't bother filling our drinks until after the appetizers arrived, and he never refilled them, or even asked if we'd like a refill.  It also took a ridiculously long time to get our check once we finished our meal.  I'm pretty sure we sat at least 15 minutes past our finishing before he even came by.  This poor service is part of why I don't think Namaste will be replacing India Star as our favorite local Indian restaurant any time soon.

In sum, Namaste India Groceries and Kitchen is a pretty good Indian grocery, and the Kitchen part of the business serves up pretty darn good food, but the service leaves a lot to be desired.  If you're in a hurry to get in and out, I would definitely not recommend Namaste, but if you don't mind waiting and aren't too bothered by iffy service, the food is maybe worth the wait.

Namaste is located at 7500 University Ave., Suite A, Clive, IA 50325.  Hours are:  G

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