when nobody can decide what’s for dinner

Sometimes it takes a break in habit to bring back something cherished. In all the talk about good food in San Francisco, especially kid-friendly food, I’d completely forgotten about Zante Indian Cuisine & Pizza (3489 Mission St. @ Cortland St., +1.415.821.3949). I guess we’d gotten out of the habit of heading to that side of town for Indian food. But today we was hungry…

Since 1986 these guys have been making and delivering a joyful fusion of Indian and Italian, veggie and omniverous, so everyone in your party can be satisfied. (They have a bit of a hard time doing truly mild food, so if that’s your desire, go with the pizza.) I ought to mention that Zante deliver city-wide, which is a pretty cool thing.

Zante kitchen

Indian pizza is one of those things which is infinitely better than any description of it, but forwarned … they describe their omniv as “a classic crisp, thin crust layered with spinach as well as sauce, mozzarella, and the toppings of your choice, such as tandoori chicken, lamb, cauliflower, eggplant, and prawns”, whereas the veggie pizza is “spiced with hot pepper, green onions, cilantro, and garlic.” Once it hits your tongue, you’ll realize the futility of words to such a novel combination of tastes. (I’m told there’s a vegan pie available.)

Zante dining room

Their menu is extensive; you’ll have to peruse it yourself. Suffice it to say that we’re happy to have the keema naan (lamb bread), chicken Makanwala (or the sagwala, tikka masala, or korma), seekh kabab (spicy!),

The drinks bear mention too. The lassis – salty, sweet, and mango – are really good. And the masala tea is worth returning again and again.

Zante making eggplant

Supremely kid-friendly, the staff are quick and attentive. The prices are good, and the menu wide and deep. As they were peeling the eggplant they’d been baking when we arrived (after their afternoon 3-5pm break) the kids got to help break down the cardboard boxes for the recycle bin.

You will enjoy your visit as much as the kids did, I suspect. Tasty, tasty, filling, and inexpensive.

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