I remember one day about two years ago, during my lunch break at an office supply store, when I convinced a small crew of construction workers to join me for a nice, quiet romantic lunch at Taj Mahal. After a few minutes of aggressive salesmanship, they conceded, reluctantly at first, to come along in their own car. We had a delightful time sampling everything, and left the restaurant full and happy.
I don't typically invite complete strangers to lunch with me, but when I find something good, I make it a point to share it with everyone. On this note, I have only one suggestion: YOU MUST EAT AT TAJ MAHAL. FOREVER.
My girlfriend and I eat there at least three times a month, but the idea of going on assignment made me feel a little funny inside, you know, like when you're having a real heartfelt talk with your best friend and he asks if you would adopt his cats if he ever died in a freak rock climbing accident or something. What do you say to that? You can't say "yes" right away because that would be foolish and flighty, but you also can't say "no" because you'd look like a butthole. You're stuck in a quandary.
Writing about a restaurant I love so dearly places me in the same situation, though I can claim without hesitation that the atmosphere is calming, roomy and perfect. I can also say that their food is beautifully prepared, authentic and a delight to the taste buds. I know that I'm hooked for life, and that I scribbled the equation "Elijah + Taj Mahal = Tru Luv 24/7" in a notebook after having a vivid dream one night.
Objectively speaking, I recommend ordering the spicy tomato-based homemade cottage cheese dish Paneer Makhni, or Masala Daal, a creamed lentil dish laden with exotic spices and served with basmati rice. Also, make sure you ask for a fresh order of garlic naan, the most delicious bread on the planet. Wash it down with a tasty Indian beer and you're totally set. Expect to encounter a pleasant, genuinely friendly waitstaff and management, and a big-screen TV featuring some of the most breathtaking, mind-boggling Indian music videos you have ever seen.
The price is very reasonable--my date and I walked out happy and full of goodness after paying only $32.58 for the experience. Make it a point to eat at Taj Mahal and become a regular.
--Elijah Jensen's car window would keep in the construction crew.