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STREET FARE FINDS ITS STRIDE — FROM INDIAN CUISINE TO MEXICAN HOT DOGS

6 years ago 0

Chef Silverman getting the bacon dogs ready in Agave's street taco cart.

The street food trend is gaining momentum in our fair city. In June I waxed poetic about the Slidin’ Thru slider truck that travels around Las Vegas with its super-tasty angus beef sliders, www.slidinthru.com. And now there is another burger truck, Fukuburger at www.fukuburger.com, to try.

But the street fare phenomenon in Las Vegas has now reached beyond just baby burgers. Origin India Restaurant & Bar has just jumped on the bandwagon, unveiling its new street food menu that will be available from now until mid-October.

Origin India’s Executive Chef Kuldeep Singh has designed a menu that showcases cuisine eaten every day on the bustling streets of Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta. Yours Truly was treated first to Pani Puri – the most popular dish in India – which consists of fried hollow balls that you fill with a shot of water, tamarind, chili, chaat masala, potatoes, onions and garbanzo beans. It’s a whimsical creation so popular in India that before you even put down your shot glass another is set up and ready for you.

Other vegetarian dishes included Pao Bhaji, a bread roll filled with a vegetable curry, and Aloo Papadi Chaat, crispy fried crackers staked with a mix of potatoes, garbanzo beans, yogurt and tamarind sauce. But be mindful these dishes are a heat assaulting missiles. I admit it, I am a wuss and felt every bit of the heat Chef Singh intended. My dining companion even mentioned that her teeth were possibly on fire. Foodies with a taste for spicy heat will be hellishly pleased.

Non-vegetarian dishes started with Galawati kebab, a spicy lamb patty ground so smooth it was almost like pate, and Prawn Balchao, shrimp cooked in a sweet sour spicy sauce. Relief came with the arrival of less spicy offerings which, of course, were my favorites. Murgh ke Parchey, a thin, pan fried chicken breast marinated in rose petals, cardamom and mace, was delicious both with and without an array of chutneys from which to choose. And the menu’s biggest success was Hyderabadi Biryani, lamb marinated in yogurt, spices and basmati rice and served in a ceramic pot sealed with naan. It was a novelty to see the servers peel off the naan to reveal the pot’s contents which was a well flavored mixture hiding delicious lamb balls.

Origin India is also introducing several drinks to be sipped along with its street food fare. These non-alcoholic concoctions range from sweet to fruity to savory, from the traditional masala chai, iced India tea with milk to Amb Pani, a refreshing mix of raw mango pulp diluted in water with spices and finished with mint, to the shikanji, a mixture of fresh lime, cumin and black salt in water. OriginIndiaRestaurant.com

Not to be overlooked, Agave Restaurant in Summerlin is celebrating Mexican Independence Day and Mexico’s Bicentennial with a Summer Send Off party on Thursday, September 16 from 4 p.m. to midnight. I bring this up only because Agave will be busting out its street taco cart.

Yep more street fare, and we have already previewed it. The fiesta’s menu includes not only lamb, goat, beef, chicken and pork tacos but also bacon-wrapped beef hot dogs in a special chipotle sauce. OMG! We were leery of the bacon dogs until we had one topped with grilled onions and jalapenos – this is one decadent dog and well worth the trip alone. And if that doesn’t do it for you, they are also having roasted corn on the cob slathered in a special sauce of butter, chipotle, cilantro and Cotija cheese. One word – nirvana.

Painted by noted local artist, Gushsan, the mural is approximately 28 feet long and depicts multiple representations of Mexico’s history.

Also worth the trip is the fact that Agave’s Summer Send Off Fiesta will feature a massive outdoor party tent, three live bands, Espolon Tequila – 100% blue agave margarita specials, Modelo beer specials, and will take place on the restaurant’s patio and nearby party tent.

In addition, as part of the celebration surrounding Mexican Independence Day and Bicentennial, Agave will also host the official mural for the State of Nevada to celebrate the Bicentennial of Mexican Independence from noted local artist, Gushsan. Recognized by Governor Jim Gibbons for his cultural contribution, the mural is approximately 28 feet long and depicts multiple representations of Mexico’s history. The mural will be on display at Agave from September 15 to 30. www.agavelasvegas.com

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