Alexandria, VA

How spicy do you like your vindaloo? For the last five months, Spice Kraft (2607 Mount Vernon Ave.) has helped diners answer that very question, and on the frigid evening of Monday, Jan. 20, the restaurant finally held its ribbon cutting.

“We are finally settled down, and it took about four months,” said Spice Kraft manager Anthony Shankar. “We want to keep the price at a minimum level, but at the same time we want to give a very good experience in terms of service and food presentation.”

“Our chef is from South India, and he’s really into fusion cuisine,” Shankar added. “He can mix up South and North Indian cuisine and create a diverse variety of dishes.”

The restaurant had a soft opening at the end of August, after it replaced Bombay Curry, which closed last year after more than 20 years in business on Mount Vernon Ave.

The Jan. 20 event was attended by Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson, Vice Mayor Elizabeth Bennett-Parker, Alexandria Small Business Development Center Executive Director Bill Reagan, members of the Del Ray Business Association and neighbors.

“We welcome you with open arms,” Wilson told Shankar. “We are thrilled that Anthony is continuing that tradition and bringing great Indian food here to Del Ray.”

Shankar, native of Chennai, India, moved to Alexandria with his family from Roanoke, where he managed the Indian restaurant Taaza for seven years. He also brought along former Taaza chef Premnath Durairaj, who has worked with Shankar for more than two decades.

“We make food that is mild, spicy and extra hot from all over India,” Durairaj said. “Business is greater than we expected. We have good support from the neighborhood.”

The restaurant serves well-known dishes like veggie samosas and Chicken Tikka, in addition to vegan options and gluten-free bread.

Spice Kraft is open for lunch Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and from 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Dinner hours are from 5-9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 5-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant is closed on Mondays.

Photos by James Cullum

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