I'd first heard of Merzi through a tweet a few weeks ago. When I went to the website, I thought it was a great concept and I had to try it out for myself. I'd heard a few people describe it as an "Indian Chipotle" and that's exactly what it is.
They have a few base options like rice and naan. You then select a meat, I believe they had 2 types of chicken, lamb, beef, and shrimp. Next they had several other toppings including peppers and onions, potatoes, chickpeas, a salsa-like concoction, corn, and several sauces ranging from mild to medium to hot.
I chose the rice bowl with chicken, most of the toppings and the warm medium sauce. I love eating mango ice cream after having Indian food so I ordered their drink called the Mango Fantango.
As I sat down I honestly didn't know what to expect. I love Indian food, in fact one of my favorites Rasika is right around the corner, but Indian fast food was a new concept for me. The food ended up being very good and everything tasted fresh. Halfway through, I started to get that full feeling like I do when eating a Chipotle Burrito Bowl but of course I didn't want to stop eating. I left a few bites and polished off the frothy mango smoothie which was refreshing and very pleasing to my soul.
The staff and service were excellent. I appreciated the fact that they were very patient and quick to offer suggestions since I was clearly a newbie. If it were a little closer to my office (it was an 11 block walk in 30 degree weather) I'd be a regular there, it's a nice alternative from the usual. Next time I need a quick fix of Indian food, I'll definitely be back.
415 7th Street NW
Washington, DC 20004