What can make a long day of working a homework set better? Taking a "break" by trying a new restaurant of course! And by "break" I mean we did math while waiting for our food. We were too hungry to really be productive though.
Panahar is a Bangladeshi restaurant, and let's be honest, the food isn't that different from Indian. Maybe someday I will know what makes it different, but I do not claim to at this point. But I do know it was delicious. And possibly more importantly: it was cheap! Each dinner was $9 including tax. Granted, we ordered the obligatory naan (and the rice might not have been included either, or maybe Basmati rice was more, I'm not sure), but I came out with $12 after tip, which is certainly not bad for a dinner out. Granted, that did not include a samosa. And the manager is a somewhat pushy salesman, always offering the most expensive suggestions and suggesting add ons. But hey, he's just doing business, right? The service is not particularly fast, which is okay if you brought work with you and don't feel the time pressure; it's probably a cultural difference.
But the food was definitely good, the menu was huge, and when there are huge menus, of things that all sound somewhat familar (which at this point most Indian food does and Bangladeshi sounded similar enough), I usually ask for suggestions. The manager suggested the Chicken Tikka Masala (noting this fell into the most expensive category of dishes, I think this was about $12 for just the meal as opposed to my $12 with naan and tip), which I never order because it's too "safe." I usually like to get something a little more special to a particular restaurant. I ended up setttling on Daal Mahkani, a creamy lentil dish which was very tasty. My friend ordered Shaag Maang-sho, chicken with spinach, which was very good. I've had some spinach dishes I wasn't too keen on (sometimes they are too sweet), but this one was very good. The portions were large, too, which made them definitely worthwhile. I've found that often large portions correspond to lower quality Indian food, but this was not true here. So I'm happy and although, I know, it's Bangladeshi, it's probably the better (at very least a better value) than the Indian food I've had or heard of in Atlanta.
Oh, and the dishes weren't very spicy. I didn't really look into ordering them hotter, but they didn't ask how hot we wanted them.