Dishing up Indian fun

Atlanta appears to have fallen to the delicious offensive of the Indian snack attack. The decorous but often dreary Indian restaurants many of us grew up with have fallen by the wayside. In their place we see an advancing army of casual, brightly decorated restaurants that specialize in the street foods of Mumbai and Southern India.

Masti is the biggest, brightest and most bodacious example of this new-style Indian restaurant, with an uneven but appealing menu that mixes traditional chaat (savory snacks) with more outlandish fusion creations. Along with the samosas and dosas you will find Indian versions of hot dogs, burgers and fries.

Try the snarftastic chicken masala burgers with a chaser of black salt-dusted fries. Less interesting are the thick and floppy “tacos” formed of the rice-and-lentil-flour pancakes called uthappam, then filled with ground lamb keema and shreds of cheddar cheese. Try the keema as a filling for a huge, crisp dosa and you’ll find your happy place.

Don’t miss the paan bar on the way out. It is filled with all the botanicals, spices and sweets that you chew for a pick-me-up and breath-freshener.

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