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1/2 *Smith St. Baluchi's has been closed. (5/06)

Nothing really need be said about Baluchi's (I always want to say Balducci's, which just reopened in a new location and I can't say I really care). It's no great shakes, but I had the urge for Indian delivery in the neighborhood and we only had one menu in the house, Bombay Dream, which is practically next door to Baluchi's. I knew the latter had a website, so I peeked at it for price comparison.

Everything was about a dollar more, but I was highly impressed and taken aback by their order online feature. I recall doing this once with Domino's a few years ago. Yes, novelty trumps taste on some occasions. I love being able to pick and point using pull down menus and clicks. No need for human interaction (I jest, but I do and have always had a pointless phobia about ordering food over the phone. In college, my sister would force me to phone-in pizza orders knowing I was loathe to do so and quite frequently I would flat out refuse, preferring hunger over having to make the call) and the ability to pay with a credit card.

We both did the prix fixe (so fancy) where you get an appetizer, entre, rice, naan, raita and chutney for $13.95, a bit more than I'd normally spend on take out, but it's cheaper than buying everything outright and it easily makes three meals. I had aloo fried, which are fried potato cubes with masala chat, and lamb saag. Nothing was totally hideous, at least the potatoes were crisp and not sogged, though the spinach was on the salty side. But for Wednesday night it was more than adequate. (12/14/05)

I thought the food was alright, though admittedly I'm no Indian food expert. I mean it wasn't completely heinous and inedible like everyone seems to say about NYC Indian (Bangladeshi, or whatever passes as Indian). The lamb vindaloo was surprisingly spicy and a nice respite from the single digit temperatures (both inside and out-the restaurant was beyond chilly) and the mixed tandoori grill was adequate, though sometimes the meats all blended together and were on the withered side. It's about what I would've expected from Smith St. Indian. No surprises, but it worked. (1/9/04)

Baluchi's* 263 Smith St., Brooklyn, NY

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