Everest Grill restaurant, only six months old, is an unusual amalgam of ethnicities.
It features Persian and also Indian cuisines, yet the owners, chef, front room and serving staff are Nepalese. That explains its name, which of course refers to Mt. Everest in the high Himalaya of Nepal.
However, there are no Nepalese dishes on the menu, but rather two full side-by-side menus with most of Persian and Indian cuisines' classic hits (all clearly described). If you have never had Persian food, I can tell you that it will resemble Middle Eastern cuisine, with hummus, eggplant and chicken dishes, lamb and ground beef kabobs, etc., but with sweet infusions of raisins, dates, and cherries in some dishes.
We chose a sampling of dishes from both menus on our midweek dinner visit. That night, we had the dining room to ourselves until a single late arrival of a regular patron entered. Tranquility and quiet reigned. In general, we thought the various dishes were generously portioned, nicely presented, and, most importantly, very delicious.
Added to this, the attentiveness and low-key congeniality of Bola Taman, son of owner Tek Taman, plus the comfort, cleanliness, and pleasant ambiance of the dining room, made for an enjoyable dining experience. I will go back again, and recommend that you consider doing so as well.
To test the chef's skill with Indian food, I ordered my favorite, chicken tikka masala, for me a barometer of any Indian restaurant's quality. The dish is very sauce-driven, tomato- and yogurt-based, with a sublime combination of Indian spices bathing chunks of tandoori oven-baked breast of chicken.
It passed with flying colors: the sauce was exceptional, the chicken tender and plentiful, and the accompanying Basmati rice superior to any – the unusually thin grains were half-inch long tendrils – the result of some special cooking techniques not divulged. This supremely tasty sauce mixed with this terrific Basmati rice was a rare treat.
For starters, we had one Persian warm appetizer – Mirza Ghasemi ($6.95); and one chilled Indian appetizer – Papri Chaat ($4.95). The former is a thick puree of grilled eggplant, sauteed onion, garlic, and tomato, with a touch of cooked egg on top. My dining companion loved it more than I. It was good for spreading on the pita bread that was served with our starters.
The latter, the Papri Chaat, is a favorite of ours, and Everest's had to be one of the best, the presentation a large and immediately enticing chilled platter of crisp lentil wafers, potato, and chickpeas in a divine mix of chutneys and yogurt. We loved it, but could not finish it. Sadly, the remainder that we took home did not hold up well, as the lentil wafers became limp and soggy.
My dining companion was attracted to one of the specials for her entreé, the “Everest Grilled Chicken” ($16.95), which was a Cornish hen deliciously marinated in olive oil, salt/pepper, garlic, grated onion, and lemon juice, flame grilled, and cut into 10 succulent pieces for easy eating. It was presented appealingly, with a grilled whole tomato, fresh, chopped cucumber-tomato-lettuce salad, and Basmati rice.
A basket of excellent Naan bread ($1.95), freshly baked in the tandoor, arrived with our two entreés.
Seeing how much we liked and praised the rice, Bola suggested we sprinkle a table condiment of dried, ground sumac berries onto the rice from a shaker on the table – a Persian cuisine favorite. He also gave us a sample of tadiq, the browned skin formed and stuck to the bottom of the rice pot that Persians love. Both the ground sumac and the tadiq were interesting and I could see myself developing a taste for them after repeated tastings.
A very good, large triangle of homemade baklava ($3.95), the filo-dough layered, honey and nut laden Middle Eastern pastry classic, was our shared dessert, with cups of hot black Persian tea mildly spiced with cardamom.
The Everest Grill's dining room is comfortably appointed, spotless, lit with antique style chandeliers, and warm with the reflected light from the pumpkin-toned walls.
Overall rating: mmmm (out of 5 m’s) for the well-prepared dishes of Persia and India in a quiet, comfortable dining room near Ambler.
Location: 40 W. Skippack Pike, Broad Axe (Ambler area)
Web site: www.phillyeverestgrill.com
Hours: Lunch and dinner daily seven days/week.
Dinner prices: Appetizers, soups, salads $4 - $10; entrées, $10 - $17/Indian, $15 - $23/Persian.
Lunch Buffet: $9.95
Ambiance: Pleasant, clean, comfortable long rectangular dining room.
Reservations: Not necessary.
Credit cards: All major accepted
Alcoholic beverages: BYOB
Wheelchair access: Yes
To contact Mitch Davis, you can e-mail him