Everyone's beloved Indian delivery restaurant, Tiffin, finally decided it could travel the extra half block south into Pennsport (and possibly farther?) to deliver food to our house. And it's about time! With Tiffins opening up in the burbs, it seemed unusually cruel that Pennsport was left out of the delivery zone. So, we jumped on the opportunity to get delivery from Tiffin Etc., Tiffin's sister restaurant and Girard Ave. next door neighbor serving Indian pizzas and street food.
Tiffin Etc.'s menu is broken into four categories: Pizza, kati rolls, stuffed parathas, and beverages. With exception to the beverages, some of which sound quite interestingly spiced, we hit it all. A personal pizza is plenty of food for one hungry person, but a larger pizza is also available.
Above is the Tandoori Saubzi personal pizza topped with tandoori grilled seasonal vegetables — squash, zucchini, red and orange peppers, and onions in our case — roasted garlic, cilantro mint pesto, and fresh Mozzarella. Loaded with flaccid vegetables atop a sweet and not particularly interesting cilantro and mint pesto (not sure how that's possible with those two herbs), this pizza was simultaneously overwhelming and underwhelming — too many toppings, not enough flavor umph.
The Paneer Tikka and Hari Mirch personal pizza is topped with tandoori grilled cottage cheese, makhani sauce, green chilis and mint. The thin smear of sweet, Indian spiced makhani sauce (same sauce on butter chicken) could have been more generous, but the simplicity of the toppings — just cheese with a smattering of hot green chilis and mint — made this pizza more successful than the other. The simple Indian flavors with no distracting toppings melded better with the pizza crust.
The pizza crust is a neutral thickness — not ultra thin or thick — and despite our pizzas arriving cold, the crispy crust held up through the delivery.
Kati rolls are billed as traditional Indian street-style wraps with a fried egg and either meat and/or veggies rolled in a flat bread. We went with one of the two veggie Kati rolls on the menu, the Masala Aloo wrap filled with a fried egg, pan fried spiced potatoes, herbs, pickled red onions, and mint and chili chutney. Not happy with the cold, greasy, dense and chewy flat bread, I ate the spicy masala potatoes on their own. Perhaps the bread on the Kati roll doesn't travel well, and is best eaten right out of the kitchen, but I longed for either a crisp, delicate dosa wrapper, or a wrapper of soft, fluffy naan.
Parathas are pan fried whole wheat flat breads stuffed with various fillings and accompanied by raita and pickles. A lover of onions, I went with the Pyaz paratha stuffed with marinated onions and herbs. Wrapped in foil, the still warm paratha suffered from steaming during travel, which rendered the paratha a little limp. Generously packed with onions, the paratha dipped in raita was my favorite dish of the evening, perhaps because it felt familiar and like the Indian food I know and love.
Gosh, I don't even know how to conclude. My feelings are so mixed.
I'm a little upset with myself, as I willingly embrace adventurous eating, but I can't say that I was impressed with the pizzas. They satisfy neither an Indian craving nor a pizza craving. But I can't help but think that I would do a happy dance if presented a hot slice of Indian pizza from a real street cart after a long night on the town. Another Indian pizza joint is on my list, and perhaps with something to compare Tiffin Etc.'s pizza to, I can better develop my feelings about Indian pizza.
Tiffin Etc.'s food is probably better judged by a restaurant visit, but Tiffin markets themselves as more of a delivery restaurant than a sit-down restaurant, so most patrons will be eating the food at home. Tiffin Etc.'s food does not travel as well as Tiffin's rice and curries do.
Delivery took a little over an hour, which is what we expected. All of the food arrived cold, except for the paratha, which was still warm.
Prices are extremely reasonable, so it's worth ordering at least once to see how you feel about Tiffin Etc.
712 W. Girard Ave., Philadelphia, PA, 19123