Travelers Thali House Too Good to Keep Secret

Indian food options in Seattle just got better.
Allison Austin Scheff  |   January 2012   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION

For years, there have been complaints about the lack of (and lacking) Indian food options in Seattle. I’m here to tell you: Travelers is the answer to your prayers.

The purple house atop Beacon Hill is a homey space, and not just because of the warm, toasty scent of spices—cardamom, cinnamon, cumin seed—dancing in the air. The service and kitchen staffs are genuinely friendly, talkative and welcoming.

You’ll want to come with a dear friend to catch up over a deluxe thali ($20), which arrives with 11 ramekins of differing sizes, the larger ones holding offerings such as stewed lentil soup with tamarind and coconut cream, and addictive meatball-like little fried balls (kaftas) of green banana, crisp and dense. Another dish holds raita with toasted cumin seed, accompanied by a warm lentil cracker straight out of the fryer but greaseless—like a really, really big, fresh potato chip. And then there are pickles, salads, basmati rice filling the rest. It is a feast.

Of course, all of those comforting Indian breads are on offer: parantha, a fried bread stuffed with potato or cheese ($2.50) or plain—flaky and warm and irresistible; buttered naan ($2), warm and bubbly; fried pakoras (fritters with spinach and spices, $4); and samosas (stuffed pastry, $5 for small order) served with raita and chickpea curry. And did you notice?

The entire menu is vegetarian. Go there now: Travelers’ warming, sensual food is too good to remain a secret for long.

Lunch and dinner, Wed.–Sun. Beacon Hill, 2524 Beacon Ave. S; 206.329.1465; travelersteaco.com $

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