Walking into Blue Taj, it’s hard not to find yourself instantly charmed. If it’s not the incredible aromas that entice you enough to walk in, it’s the cool blue and orange lights that welcome you as you enter. The glass room filled with wine bottle after wine bottle should be some indication that this place knows how to rise to any occasion and the massive menus should further reiterate this notion. After you arrive, they will welcome you with warm smiles, as you find a place in the enclosed porch they have outside or the dimly lit, somewhat romantic inside seating. I assure you that at Blue Taj, they will treat you well as they treat you to an even better meal.
The options at Blue Taj are expansive. If you’ve never had Indian food before, don’t be intimidated by the options. The staff will explain the dishes patiently to you and as long as you pick a protein that you like, you know that what you’re about to eat will be amazing and high quality. If you do want a quick crash course into some of the nuances of some Indian cuisine, let me provide a few quick tips.
Generally, Indian cuisine falls into two main categories: North Indian and South Indian. In the North, there tends to be a stronger emphasis on what some might consider the “typical” Indian food: heavy bodied curries with a fair amount of butter and cream, delicious and hearty breads like naan (a white flatbread made with yogurt and often covered in butter and garlic) and roti (a wheat bread). In comparison, South Indian cooking tends to focus on more of lighter ingredients, especially using lentils and tomatoes. Blue Taj has a larger emphasis on the North Indian cuisine, with a few dishes highlighted from the South as well. It’s a good place to try and experiment with a new type of food or a different type of dish that you may have been unsure of.
If you’re worried about choosing something that might be too spicy, don’t worry, they ask for your spice level ranked one to five. If you’re worried about choosing something too out of your comfort zone, don’t worry, go with a better-known option like Chicken Tikka Masala or Palak Paneer. Any of the meals that you get at Blue Taj will be warm, complex in flavor and will be worth every dime that you spend. My recommendation would be to go with a friend, split two different curries, order at least two rounds of garlic naan and a mango lassi. Kick back, enjoy the well-done cuisine and take a second to breath in the swirl of exams. You’ll forget you’re in Charlotte, even if just for a little while.
Blue Taj is located in Ballantyne, just a few minute drive off of 1-485. Their cuisine is higher in price than some university locations (like the iconic Passage to India) and it’s a great place for a date night or a girl’s night out.