4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

All I could eat, plus mango custard

Hole in the wall Indian buffet gets me every time

Clockwise from the bread basket: naan, paneer tikka masala, aloo palak, channa masala, goat curry, chicken tikka masala, tandoori chicken, mixed vegetable pakora. Barwachi Dosa.
Clockwise from the bread basket: naan, paneer tikka masala, aloo palak, channa masala, goat curry, chicken tikka masala, tandoori chicken, mixed vegetable pakora. Barwachi Dosa.

For the most part, anyone who tells you they had a satisfying All You Can Eat meal cares more about feeling full than eating good food. This holds especially true when you cross below the 20 dollar threshold. So, I won't be offended if you doubt me when I say I really like the 11 dollar no-holds-barred lunch at Barwachi Dosa, a barely noticeable Indian restaurant at the back of a shopping center parking lot on Black Mountain Road.

I've been trying to figure out whyI like it so much, and have gone back a couple of times now, you know, to research. The best answer I can come up with is: tandoori chicken.

It's quite literally a hole in the wall.

I'm not entirely sure how I originally found the place. I think I was meeting some friends for lunch in the area and parked next to it by chance. It's got an awkward entryway that leads into a large foyer with a dosa cart to the right and a dining room to the left. The dosas I haven't tried, though I hear they're a part of the special on weekends.

The dining room is "nice" in the way awards dinners are "nice" — they just throw a lot of linen on the tables and send bussers by to keep the plates and silverware moving. The important part is the northern wall, which presents a gauntlet of heating pans continuously refilled with fragrant curries, stews and rice dishes.

If there's a proper technique to eating all you can, I like to think I've nailed it. My approach is: grab a plate and spoon a little of everything onto it. If anything in particular stands out, I'll hope I'm not too full from round one to go back for more.

I begin by piling basmati rice at the center of my plate, then arranging spoonfuls of other dishes around it, like the numbers on a clock. This day, this included three takes on masala curry: chicken tikka, paneer tikka (with cubes of mild cheese curd) and channa (chickpea). I also gravitated towards the goat curry and aloo palak (spinach with potatoes), as well as pakora and boriyal, which involved fried vegetables and beans, respectively. I'd tell you more about them, but honestly this meal's about as heavy on the brain's linguistic center as it is the stomach.

Of course, there's no way I'm finishing round one without that tandoori chicken. The blended spice rub stands out as one of my favorites across all cuisines, and Barwachi doesn't muck it up. I couldn't see back into the kitchen, so I can't be sure there are any real tandoori ovens back there, but given the texture of the chicken and the fluffiness of the naan brought to our table, I'd speculate there are.

Let's just skip the part where I gorge myself, and move on to the sweet bowl of mango custard that served as refreshing dessert, and then say I left the place both satisfied and full. This is nobody's idea of fine dining, but Indian food's never shy about flavor, and while I'll admit to having the tendency to shove a couple of different sauces together, rarely did any of the individual concoctions taste anything but right on-point. I don't know how the folks at Barwachi keep costs so low — according to their web site they're halaal — but I'm sure I'll revisit the place in a determined effort to figure it out.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Luis Urrea daydreams of San Diego, Oklahoma girl spends summers on Bonair Street

We buy a $120,000 hoiuse in El Cerrito, an incurable eavesdropper, lives of a beautiful girl and a fat boy in San Diego
Clockwise from the bread basket: naan, paneer tikka masala, aloo palak, channa masala, goat curry, chicken tikka masala, tandoori chicken, mixed vegetable pakora. Barwachi Dosa.
Clockwise from the bread basket: naan, paneer tikka masala, aloo palak, channa masala, goat curry, chicken tikka masala, tandoori chicken, mixed vegetable pakora. Barwachi Dosa.

For the most part, anyone who tells you they had a satisfying All You Can Eat meal cares more about feeling full than eating good food. This holds especially true when you cross below the 20 dollar threshold. So, I won't be offended if you doubt me when I say I really like the 11 dollar no-holds-barred lunch at Barwachi Dosa, a barely noticeable Indian restaurant at the back of a shopping center parking lot on Black Mountain Road.

I've been trying to figure out whyI like it so much, and have gone back a couple of times now, you know, to research. The best answer I can come up with is: tandoori chicken.

It's quite literally a hole in the wall.

I'm not entirely sure how I originally found the place. I think I was meeting some friends for lunch in the area and parked next to it by chance. It's got an awkward entryway that leads into a large foyer with a dosa cart to the right and a dining room to the left. The dosas I haven't tried, though I hear they're a part of the special on weekends.

The dining room is "nice" in the way awards dinners are "nice" — they just throw a lot of linen on the tables and send bussers by to keep the plates and silverware moving. The important part is the northern wall, which presents a gauntlet of heating pans continuously refilled with fragrant curries, stews and rice dishes.

If there's a proper technique to eating all you can, I like to think I've nailed it. My approach is: grab a plate and spoon a little of everything onto it. If anything in particular stands out, I'll hope I'm not too full from round one to go back for more.

I begin by piling basmati rice at the center of my plate, then arranging spoonfuls of other dishes around it, like the numbers on a clock. This day, this included three takes on masala curry: chicken tikka, paneer tikka (with cubes of mild cheese curd) and channa (chickpea). I also gravitated towards the goat curry and aloo palak (spinach with potatoes), as well as pakora and boriyal, which involved fried vegetables and beans, respectively. I'd tell you more about them, but honestly this meal's about as heavy on the brain's linguistic center as it is the stomach.

Of course, there's no way I'm finishing round one without that tandoori chicken. The blended spice rub stands out as one of my favorites across all cuisines, and Barwachi doesn't muck it up. I couldn't see back into the kitchen, so I can't be sure there are any real tandoori ovens back there, but given the texture of the chicken and the fluffiness of the naan brought to our table, I'd speculate there are.

Let's just skip the part where I gorge myself, and move on to the sweet bowl of mango custard that served as refreshing dessert, and then say I left the place both satisfied and full. This is nobody's idea of fine dining, but Indian food's never shy about flavor, and while I'll admit to having the tendency to shove a couple of different sauces together, rarely did any of the individual concoctions taste anything but right on-point. I don't know how the folks at Barwachi keep costs so low — according to their web site they're halaal — but I'm sure I'll revisit the place in a determined effort to figure it out.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

In an upset, Sean Elo Rivera becomes next San Diego City Council president

Moreno and Cate make the motion
Next Article

North Park Book Fair, Holiday Edition, Nutcracker Tea Party

Events December 11-December 15, 2021
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close