Flame on the River offers Pakistani food DowntownWritten by Hannah Nusser | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Formerly known as the Boody House, Flame on the River has received a dining room makeover, turning this former American grub spot into an exotic new dining experience.
In hopes of attracting more business, owner Danny La Garza brought in new co-owner and executive chef Nasir Tausif. As always, the bar restaurant will serve lunch and dinner, but with a twist. While patrons can order American favorites like wraps, chicken wings, fries and salads, the revamped menu is primarily Pakistani classics.
“I think everybody should come and try our food,” Tausif said. “They will love it.”
With a new name and menu, Flame on the River unveiled its facelift at the Oct. 8 grand opening. It is now open for lunch and dinner and still offers a full bar.
An expert in Pakistani dishes, Tausif moved to the United States from Pakistan in 1974 with his family. While attending the University of California he worked as a waiter in a five-star French restaurant. He worked his way up to a management position and worked in the fine dining industry for 15 years. Tausif said he always enjoyed working in the classy, formal atmosphere.
“I kind of liked the environment,” he said. “Because the French restaurant is like five-star, black tie environment; very fine dining.”
But it was always Tausif’s dream to open his own Pakistani restaurant. In 1992 Tausif moved to Toledo with his family and they enjoyed the community so much they decided to stay. He said he found Indian restaurants, but no Pakistani eateries in the area; he viewed this as an opportunity to introduce patrons to an exotic new cuisine.
“If I open a Pakistani restaurant I have more chances to get people in, because it’s one of a kind,” he said.
Tausif wanted to turn the former “dinette”-style Boody House into an elegant dining room. The chairs and tablecloths have been replaced and diners will now eat by candlelight. Tausif said these small changes make all the difference in providing a chic, more formal mood. The building, located in the Fort Industry Square, is so beautiful it did not need remodeling, Tausif said.
Anyone who likes Mediterranean or Indian cuisine will love Flame on the River, Tausif said. He is optimistic that patrons will appreciate the flavors of Pakistani cuisine.
“They will prefer our food,” he said. “People need more spices [and] flavor.”
Prepared in a tandoor clay oven, Flame on the River’s dishes include classic Pakistani flavors like garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, clove and cilantro. Tausif said dishes like traditional beef nihari, cooked in a spicy curry, pack a little more heat than most Indian curries. A special dish is chicken tikka, in which the chicken is marinated overnight in a signature yogurt and vinegar dressing. Tausif also recommends trying a lassi, a yogurt smoothie flavored with salt instead of sugar.
Opposite the dining room, customers can enjoy a full bar with live jazz on Sundays from 5 – 9 p.m. Tausif recommends Flame on the River to anyone looking for a fun, formal atmosphere or to try something fresh and new.
“I am very confident if they try our dishes they will always come back,” Tausif said.
Flame on the River is located at 152 N. Summit St., across from the SeaGate Convention Centre and next to Promenade Park in Downtown Toledo. The dining room is open every day for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 10 p.m.