Food

Dirt Cheap Eats 2009: Spice Express Indian Bistro

At these Indian diners, lines extend out the doors during lunch for good reason: You can get two curries with basmati rice for $6.99, the curries are dependable (sometimes outstanding), and vegetarian options often outshine the proteins. Creamy chicken tikka masala is a customer favorite, more flavorful and comforting than the chicken curry. Two addictive stews—shrimp masala and an eggplant dish—are sometimes rotated into the mix.

Aloo gobhi, a less-than-fiery mixture of cauliflower and potatoes, is a pleaser, but saag paneer had neither the bright flavor of the spinach nor the silky texture of the cheese that makes the dish so appealing. To go with the curries there’s naan (plain $1.50, garlic $2.49), baked in the tandoor, and a refreshing, spice-soothing mango lassi ($2.99).

Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner.

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