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Sunday, March 3

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Restaurant Thu May 24 2007

Wowza Mazza

Mazza Barbecue Half ChickenOver the weekend, Centerstage's Misty Tosh raved about Mazza Barbeque, a new spot along Devon Avenue. Her review confirmed my opinion of the restaurant and the food: it's a worthy second choice for diners not able to get into Bhabi's or Hema's, and has the potential to become a destination itself.

I stopped in by myself a few weeks ago (it's not far from my home, and I was bacheloring it for the night), shortly after Mazza opened in a space formerly occupied by a sketchy looking cafe. I was the first customer of the night, as far as I could tell; the waiter seemed almost surprised to see me. He handed me a menu, which promised Indian, Pakistani and Uzbek cuisine. Like Tosh, I'd be hard-pressed to identify the specific Uzbek dishes, but no matter.

I ordered onion pakora as an appetizer and the Mazza BBQ Half Charga for dinner, along with a sweet lassi. The pakora — sort of the South Asian version of an onion ring — was the best I've ever had. Fried to a perfect golden brown, there was no trace of oil on the nuggets of breading and onion or on the plate, and the seasoning was restrained but flavorful; I could have eaten another order, but fortunately my entree showed up.

Again, I was impressed. The barbecued chicken, basted with tandoori spices, was succulent and juicy but still tinged with char — no small feat, as any backyard griller can tell you. The portion was generous, quite literally half a chicken, making it a great deal at $5.99. I've had it again since and it wasn't quite as juicy, but still flavorful and well-grilled.

Other items to try include the Chicken Boti and the Beef Chapli Kebab; the former is nuggets of seasoned chicken in a mild sauce, the latter has the sort of slow heat that fools you into thinking it's safe to eat quickly.

And yes, as Tosh and her friend discovered, the waiter is very good looking. So they've got that going for them.

Mazza Barbeque
226 W. Devon Ave.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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