Americans have a long list of comfort foods. Macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and biscuits and gravy are just few. They are thick, filling and often rich.
They’re also kind of bland when compared to comfort food from other countries, like tropical Bangladesh.
At Mela in Moscow, you’ll find the aromatic smells and authentic flavors of Bangladesh served simply on paper plates from a counter on an outdoor patio in Martin’s Square downtown. Shaheen Khan opened the restaurant in August after selling her food at area farmers markets for several years. “Mela” is a Sanskrit word that means “gathering” or “fair.”
Open for lunch and dinner, here you can find veggie or meat samosas, savory fried pastries which definitely fall in the comfort food category ($2.50 to $3.50). Another snack-sized item is piyaju, which are lentil fritters (three for $2.50).
On the day I visited, the menu also included vegetarian and meat curries ($8 to $15), the mixed rice plate chicken biryani ($11) and the distinctly spicy chicken leg roasted Bangladeshi style, a traditional pan-fried dish ($11).
What says comfort like dairy products? Find it here in the form of cheese paneer ($12). The sweet milk and yogurt drink mango lassi ($3.50) makes a nice dessert.
Mela as a venue is nothing fancy. Outdoor seating is the only option, so dress accordingly or order to go. It could spice up your life a little.
Mela, 137 E. Second St., Moscow, (208) 596-9001
Mixed vegetable curry is one of the Bangladeshi dishes served at Mela in Moscow