Date Night for Very Little Dough at Doshi House

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Photos by Katharine Shilcutt
Thai red curry on Tuesday nights at Doshi House.
When I'm not eating out on official paper business, I'm on a budget just like most people my age who are still paying student loans on top of car notes, mortgages, ridiculous cell phone bills and more (how do I use so much cell data just browsing Reddit?).

For occasions in which the manfriend and I want a nice evening out without a huge -- or even an average -- outlay of cash, Doshi House is my destination of choice. Every evening at this chic Third Ward cafe, owner Deepak Doshi prepares a single type of dish, and each night's dinner is only $6.95.

On Monday nights, it's Creole red beans and rice. On Saturday nights, it's "not so butter chicken." On Tuesday nights, my preferred night, Doshi makes a Thai red curry that's thick with the deep flavors of cumin, chile peppers, galangal and bright squiggles of Sriracha that bleed into the rust-hued curry.

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The corkage fee for wine is $8 and less for beer.
It paired up nicely with a bottle of Argentinean Torrontes -- a very flexible, easily adaptable grape -- we brought with us, bought on the cheap at Costco and uncorked at Doshi House for an $8 corkage fee. (This includes glassware, and Doshi will happily chill the wine for you if it's not already cooled down.)

As with most of the breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes as Doshi House, the Thai red curry is entirely vegan. But as with the vegan dishes at nearby Cafe TH, you can't tell. Only the tofu in the red curry gives the dish away. Doshi told us that his Creole red beans and rice in particular have been his most popular evening meal, bringing him "street cred" in the community and reminding me that I still need to try the dish myself.

"Will I be full after I eat this?" the boyfriend asked as he eyed the curry a bit warily on our first visit. He's not opposed to vegetable-based cuisine, but still retains that very red-blooded American concern that a meal will be insufficient without meat-based protein (as most of us do).

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Goan lentil soup.
"Yes," I promised. "You will." To further cement this promise, I ordered a large cup of Goan lentil soup for $3 to split between us -- just in case.

Doshi's lentil soup is served on Monday and Tuesdays for lunch and dinner, and is thick enough to nearly be considered a stew. In that typical Goan fashion, the ruddy soup is redolent of the sorts of hot, fruity Portuguese spices brought to Europe and then to India via Brazil.

After the curry was gone, the manfriend was only able to tackle half the Goan lentil soup before he admitted he was full. Still, he said, he wanted to order another dish of red curry -- because "it was awesome." High praise.

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If he still had room for another round of curry, I figured he'd have room for a slice of (rich, decadent, decidedly non-vegan) chocolate cake and a cortado from Doshi House's well-regarded coffee program, set up and maintained by Greenway Coffee's David Buehrer.

He did, and we indulged in both, bringing to an end a long, leisurely date night at the cozy restaurant in the Third Ward that proves you don't need to spend a lot of money to get a delicious meal in a charming cafe. And if you, like me, want to try Doshi's red beans and rice, they're the evening meal tonight starting at 5:30 p.m. until the kitchen runs out. BYOB and settle in for the night.

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Doshi House Cafe

3419 Dowling St., Houston, TX

Category: General

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10 comments
mtfilley
mtfilley

Though in the past I've enjoyed Doshi House, I haven't gone back in months. Be forewarned, when Deepak runs out of whatever is on the menu for the night, that's that. I've arrived at 6:00 pm and he's not ready. One time I arrived at 6:30pm, thinking he should be ready to go and there would be plenty on hand. Deepak was behind the counter and shook his head. "Sorry, we sold our last plate," and he wasn't inclined to prepare a second batch. The whole vibe was "Sorry Charlie." So I went somewhere else for dinner. I really like the guy and wish him well, but I'm not sure why he works like that. Maybe it's the small kitchen or the 13 hour days that wear him down.

edg012
edg012

You probably use up all that cell data on reddit by frequently visiting r/gonewild or r/ladyboners... just saying.. you're not the only one who visits r/gonewild...

doc.rky
doc.rky

I'm intrigued. Thai red curry without fish sauce?

UrbanSwank
UrbanSwank

Just found the location for my next date night! I am so stealing this one :) ~ UG

Kyle Jack
Kyle Jack

They're also both run by UH grads! Nice to see these guys keeping it in the community.

Eating Our Words: The Houston Press Food Blog
Eating Our Words: The Houston Press Food Blog

Kyle Nielsen, Cafe TH and Doshi House are two peas in a pod. I love that they're both doing such interesting, progressive, affordable food in their respective neighborhoods.

slumpville
slumpville

I think there is a typo. I believe that the red beans and rice are on Mondays. 

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

@edg012 r/ladyboners? Yes. r/gonewild? Not so much. r/malefashionadvice? Now that's the spot for the best LOLs.

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