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September 20, 2011 - 5:31pm

Photo: Salsa and Curry offers up cuisine from Mexico and India

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, restaurants, business, downtown, food.

The menu of great local restaurant choices in Batavia grew a bit today with the opening of Salsa and Curry on Jackson Street (former location of Margarita's Mexican Restaurant).

Owners Deena Rathod (right) and daughters Anvpa Hirani (left) and Priya Rathod have opened with just a Mexican food menu for now, but starting Friday will offer daily Indian food specials.

If the Indian food goes over well -- and several of the first customers in the restaurant today asked for Indian food -- then the menu will be expanded.

"If there is demand for it, we'll bring in more Indian food," Deena said. "We'll add it to the menu, but for now we're trying it on a limited basis."

With no previous Indian food restaurant in Batavia to judge the curry-and-spice offerings of the cuisine, the Rathods want to see how much demand there is for Indian menu items.

The Rathods have made a significant investment in remodeling the interior of the former Margarita's, reconfiguring the space, putting in new flooring, booths, tables and chairs.

"I've always wanted to open a restaurant," Deena said. "I have a passion for food and I like to make different dishes. In the past, when I've made different dishes for family and friends, they all enjoyed it."

Deena said many customers who have come into Mr. Wine and Liquor -- which her family also owns -- since Margarita's closed have urged her and her family to open a restaurant, especially an Indian restaurant (the building on Jackson is owned by Deena and her husband, Kevin).

The opportunity seemed ripe to go ahead and give it a try, Deena said.

Janice Stenman
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What a welcome addition to Batavia.

Amy Weidner
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I am very excited about this! I'm a vegetarian and have a tough time finding a lot of options for myself here in Batavia. Indian restaurants tend to have a lot of vegetarian dishes because of their culture so I frequently find myself looking into them. I'm hoping that will be the case when I check out their menu on Friday. Count on me being there!

Normally I have to drive out to Buffalo for this sort of thing. I'm hoping Batavia takes advantage of this opportunity to have a little diversity!

Gabor Deutsch
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I was just thinking that Batavia needs more places to eat.

Tim Howe
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LOL @ Gabor

Mike Weaver
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It's about variety Gabor. Batavia may have alot of places to eat but they are all variations on just a few themes. An Indian food place is a welcome addition in my mind. Certainly better than another pizza and wing joint. I hope the place thrives.

Howard B. Owens
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By my count, there are as many places now as when Margarita's and Ponderosa were both open.

Billie Owens
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I love Indian cuisine and am all for this exciting addition to Batavia. Now if we could get an all-Greek place...

George Richardson
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I vote for a Polish Sausage and Golumpki Beer Emporium on Main Street. One can never get enough Golumpki or Beer. You can overdose on Polish Sausage, though.

George Richardson
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Kielbasa, not people! Don't Risk Perry.

Dave Olsen
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George; Move back to Batavis and I will come and make Lattkes and Golumpkis at night for you. You have to have only western NY beer on tap as well. Flying Bison and Southern Tier. Shoot, you could heat the place with the methane produced. You'd also have to have sauerkraut juice on the menu for Billie. C'mon George, you can do it!! Bratwurst, kraut and beans every Sunday during Bills games. Pickled chicken dinners (hard boiled eggs in Penrose sausage juice) on Wednesdays. Fish fry and German potato salad on Friday of course.

Dave Olsen
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Howard Owens and Jim Nigro photography on the walls and open mike political humor on Tuesdays

Billie Owens
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Dave, so kind of you to remember that I'm a fan of sauerkraut juice. I don't care who cooks, as long as it's good! Bratwurst, beans, sauerkraut, German potato salad, Black Forest torte, room-temperature German beer, the Chicken Dance, leiderhosen, oompah-pah bands -- bring them on and don't forget the mustard! BTW, I'm Irish, born in Charlotte, raised in San Diego, transplanted here. I love variety!

Dave Olsen
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Billie; to be honest I only remembered that because I never heard of anyone else traveling to get sauerkraut juice before.
My apologies BTW to the the 3 ladies above who have actually started a restaurant instead of talking about it like me. Best wishes for success, you can bet the Missus and I will check it it out!!

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