Bites Nearby: Biryani House

Our weekly look at a local restaurant worth trying.

Most reviewers agree that it's not really fair to review a restaurant right after it opens, before the owner has had a chance to work out the kinks.

It's probably doubly unfair to review a restaurant on its opening day. So look at this more as just information about a new restaurant in Lilburn: Biryani House opened its doors to guests on Friday, March 2, with a grand opening.

Owner Mohammed Asad is from Bangladesh, and you've probably already guessed that the food he offers is traditional, straight-up Indian/Bangladeshi/Pakistani. United as one country under British rule, the three have many of the same culinary traditions.

Biryani House offers, of course, biryani, a spicy dish with meat and basmati rice, with your choice of chicken or goat meat; tandooris, curries and kabobs. All meats are from animals slaughtered by hand, the menu points out.

Sandwiches are also on the menu: gyro, chicken kabob and beef burger, for example. Traditional breads naan and paratha are available, as is the yogurt drink, lassi, and mango lassi.

Located in a strip mall on Indian Trail - Lilburn Road, the decor is simple -- mostly booths and a few tables -- and prices are modest, ranging from $2.99 for samosa appetizers (two) to $8.99 for goat curry. Alcohol is not served at Biryani House.

On grand opening day, guests were all served the same dish: chicken biryani, goat biryani, a kabob and salad -- all on the house, a custom in Bangladesh when an eatery opens, according to owner Asad. The biryani was spicy -- but not too -- and delicately flavored with cardamom, turmeric and other spices. The restaurant was packed, and my neighbor, a native of Pakistan and therefore a better judge than I, declared the food worthy of its heritage.

I, for one, am glad to have another choice for Indian food in the area, and I'll definitely go back again to try the other things on the menu. And I probably won't wait for Asad to get the kinks worked out, if there are any.

Biryani House is located at 535 Indian Trail, Lilburn (in the strip mall next to Pizza Hut). It's open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Closed Mondays. Telephone 770-638-1626.


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