Sartre argues that hell is other people. I disagree. I think hell is living in a city without Indian food. Currently there are only two places in Denton to satisfy your curry craving and I can only in good conscience recommend one. Recent real estate dealings had locals worried about its future, but we uncovered big plans for this area favorite, and it's going to involve music, dancing and booze — hurrah!
Since 2005, Rasoi the Indian Kitchen has operated out of a renovated gas station on Avenue C just south of the University of North Texas campus. When news broke early last year of a real estate deal involving UNT, owner Brijpal Singh started looking for a new location. The Board of Regents acquired the building in February 2015 and made motions to purchase other surrounding properties for campus expansion, but agreed to continue Rasoi's lease until further plans were made. Rasoi's longtime fans lamented the deal threatening their go-to lunch spot and Singh worried he might not be able to relocate anywhere that was both affordable and close to campus.
But fear not, Denton! Rasoi is relocating a mere 0.6 miles down Eagle Drive, to a spot previously occupied by what one Yelp reviewer labeled "the ultimate frat bar." Rasoi's future home at 827 W Eagle Drive used to house the R Bar. The move will also come with a name change. The forthcoming Hangout Bar & Dine will be a significant expansion from the renovated gas station location, including a larger dining area, a nightclub and a full-service bar. Mohammad Dar, DJ and bar manager for the new space, said via email the Hangout will be open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday, with the nightclub open 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. There will be a full-service bar from open to close every day, with live entertainment during the week and a Thursday night college night.
If you live in Little D and haven't yet enjoyed Rasoi's selection of comforting, aromatic curries, you're missing out. If you've ever eaten a samosa from Big Mike's in the Fry Street area, you've sampled their appetizers. Rasoi's current set-up is a self-serve buffet. For $8.99, you can load up on their selection of both meat and vegetarian dishes. The rotating menu features freshly cooked favorites like chana masala, spinach and potatoes, Tandoori chicken, goat curry, and (my absolute favorite) mattar paneer (or, peas and cheese). Rasoi also offers the best chai tea in town, and it's complimentary with your entrée. Not too sweet, perfectly spiced — I usually save mine for dessert. As an added bonus, the staff is extremely helpful and courteous; many online reviewers say dining at Rasoi is like being welcomed into someone's home for a home-cooked meal.
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Hangout Bar & Dine is set to open March 24, on Mr. Singh's birthday.