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Last week something amazing happened.

I’m not normally spontaneous or impulsive. But it was a nice evening and I decided to take the long walk home. That’s not the impulsive part; don’t worry. As I passed the Cleveland Park strip mall of Vace fame, I heard some folks gushing about their dinner as they exited the old Bardeo space. I looked up and saw Bindaas.

I knew from my days living with Hindi-speakers that “bindaas” was a delightful slang term for “cool and carefree.” Spontaneous, even. The menu enticed me with familiar yet inventive chaats, khati rolls, and other north Indian street foods. When a quick Google search revealed that Bindaas was a new Vikram Sunderam venture, I was sold. I was going to treat myself. To a fancy dinner. By myself!

Only after I sat down at the bar did I recall that of all days for me to splurge in this highly unusual (for me) fashion, it was Treat Yo Self Day!

Classic Bollywood dance numbers play above the bar

Classic Bollywood dance numbers play above the bar

I settled on the vegetable kabob with paneer and the ragda pattice because I cannot pass up paneer or alu tikki. The ragda pattice, a spicy potato patty with soft yellow split peas, cilantro chutney, and minced red onion was a tasty, lively mix of textures. I would have liked it to be a bit less spicy but this south Indian finished it off between gulps of ice water.

Ragda Pattice

Ragda Pattice

Each element of the kabob was roasted perfectly and well-complemented by the intense tamater kut (a Hyderabadi tomato sauce). I expected the yellow rice bed to be the lemony pulihara I’ve had at the Bombay Club, but it seemed to be just rice with some turmeric. Pulihara would probably not be the best foil for the kut flavors anyway, but I couldn’t help being a tiny bit disappointed. One bite of that roasted paneer and kut though, and all was forgiven.

Cauliflower, mushroom, and paneer kebab with tamatar kut

Cauliflower, mushroom, and paneer kebab with tamatar kut

I do hope they consider adding a paneer khati roll. I’ll head back soon to try other veggie dishes like the bhel puri, avocado golgappa, and pao bhaji, and perhaps a dessert if Meera joins me!

All in all, Bindaas was an unexpected indulgence. So live a little! Grab some friends and sit down to some Indian street food on Connecticut Avenue.

Bindaas
3309 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 244-6550

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