Cheap Eats 2009: Spice Xing

Great food, low prices, lots of fun.

Why go: Sudhir Seth, chef/owner of the more traditional Passage to India in Bethesda, opened this storefront in Rockville Town Center to highlight the European and East Asian influences in Indian cuisine: Flavors of Portugal, China, France, and Spain find their way into food that’s as vibrant as the Technicolor decor.

What to get: Tandoori chicken wings with a citrus tang; dahi papri chaat, a combination of seasoned yogurt and firm chickpeas, with a crackling garnish of sev, fried chickpea noodles; malbari chicken, a rust-orange curry with coconut, coriander, and tomato; aloo do piaza, cumin-scented potatoes with charred sweet onions; paneer makhani, mild tofu-like cubes of Indian cheese in a barely sweet butter-and-tomato sauce.

Best for: Budget dining with the feel of a four-star restaurant.

Insider tip: At happy hour, Monday through Friday 2:30 to 6:30, nine appetizers, such as tandoori wings, are $3 or $4 each.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

>> See all 2009 Cheap Eats restaurants here


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