India Queen offers some of the best dining in Hanover

by Justin Evans And Erin Loback | 10/27/98 6:00am

India Queen restaurant, located at 44 South Main Street (on the back side of the Campion's building), is Hanover's second-youngest restaurant, but its traditional Indian flavor makes it one of downtown's best.

India Queen, under the same ownership as Royal India in Lebanon, still bears the name of its parent restaurant on its photocopied menus.

If the food isn't enough to lure you to this treasure chest of flavor, the attentive staff and ambience should be. Following the lead of its name, the friendly staff delivers service fit for a queen. The traditional Indian music, wallhangings and market-like front window add to the cozy feel of the restaurant.

India Queen serves Indian beer, as well as American beer and wine, but the best beverage on the menu is the mango lassi, a traditional yogurt and mango drink.

If you can't wait for your entree, the restaurant's tasty appetizers will provide the proper prelude to a fine meal. Try the chicken or vegetable Pakora, which are spiced fritters, or the Samosas, vegetable-stuffed pastries.

India Queen offers a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian entrees, all accompanied by tri-colored basmati saffron rice.

Lamb, shrimp, fish or chicken from the tandoor oven are served on a sizzling pan with a lemon slice and grilled onions, accompanied by lentil dal. The mixed tandoori entree lets you sample each meat.

Every chicken dish on the menu is amazing. The best are the Chicken Paatia with mango, ground nuts and herbs; the Chicken Vindaloo, which has a tangy sauce and potatoes; the Chicken Tikka Masala, with a spicy tomato and yogurt sauce; and the Chicken Shahi Korma, with a spicy cream and nut sauce.

The best vegetarian items on the menu are the Saag Paneer (homemade cheese cooked with spinach), the Kabli Chana (chick peas with garlic and ginger) and the Nav Ratan Korma (nine vegetables with herbs and spices).

All entrees can be prepared mild, medium or hot, depending on your taste.

No meal at India Queen is complete without one of their naan or paratha breads. The parathas are dense and chewy, while the naans are a bit lighter.

Our favorites are Royal Paratha, filled with chicken, potatoes and spices, and Pachauri Naan, a combination of fennel seeds, coconut and raisins.

The best dessert on the menu is the refreshing Kulfi, homemade pistachio, mint and cardamon ice cream.

India Queen accepts The Hanover Green Card, debit cards and credit cards. It also offers student discounts for dinner, and meals are reasonably priced.