Vital Information wrote:
Oh, believe me, on Saturday night it was egg drop soup.
Agreed, egg drop soup, at least when I was there for lunch earlier in the week. More accurately, chicken flavored corn starch soup with strands of egg, not very good, though I did like the cup of jalapeno laced vinegar Chopal served as a condiment for the soup.
Alright, alright, I give in. Went with an uncle to Chopal last week - they gave us
the "sweet corn chicken soup" to start again. As usual I eagerly leapt at
mine, my uncle (not having grown up on it) was more sceptical about what
it was. While I liked mine and wolfed it down as usual, he didnt think much
of his and had only half the cup before leaving the rest. So, Erik's
right - only a force as powerful as nostalgia will make you like it
(but, I can attest, if you are nostalgic you *will* like it
Speaking of condiments, table sauces were very good, especially the date, which had an nice heat level. I also very much liked the Sarsoo Ka Soog, Frontier chicken and breads. Veal T-Bone was flavorful with a nice crust of spice, but overdone and, while the Bihari kabab's flavor/spice was very good, it was over marinated to a point verging on meat jello.
Service was good, our hostess hailed from Mississippi, and Chopal is certainly 'interesting' from a decor standpoint, though the chairs are very uncomfortable for us 'husky' fellows.
All in all I enjoyed Chopal, though nothing really 'popped' for me. I'd most certainly go
Have been to both Usmaniya and Chopal in the last week. Had Kadai Ghost
at both - different versions at both places. Usmaniya's was very good (it
has, on occasion, been decent - on other occasions its been brilliant).
Chopals is a bit too loaded with tomatoes for me, different from Usmaniyas
and not as good, but still a pretty decent version IMHO.
The biryani at Usmaniya has been very good the last 3 or 4 times - my
favourite biryani in Chicago at the moment IMHO (a very good goat
biryani, but only the goat versino - I havent tried their lamb version).
The last time at Chopal, had their chilly chicken. Zim was right, it was
very very good - the best version of the dish Ive had on Devon. It was
one of my favourite dishes anyway, at JK Kabab House - but this was
better, was really excellent. However it has a nicely high level of heat, so
those who dont appreciate that should be warned.
Uncle picked up a sarson-ka-saag at Chopal, to go. We headed off to
the parked car - and I grabbed a Bhabhi's menu for him. He looked at
it, and was very excited to see "firni" on the menu - so we went in.
He was very taken with the place, had a long and very pleasant
conversation with the owner etc - and, on his insistance, took the
"most popular" sarson-ka-saag (along wtiih the firni). Thus, he managed a
direct head-to-head sarson-ka-saag taste test (though carryout style).
His report - the Chopal sarson-ka-saag, in his view, was much the
superior, more complex spices, better tasting all around etc.
(Also, BTW, he was very disappointed with the Bhabi firni eventually - it
wasnt firni at all, was basically just a kheer pretending to be a firni
in his opinion).
back, but doubt I'll be driving down Devon and suddenly have the urge for something specific at Chopal, like Frontier chicken at Ghareeb Nawaz, Brains Masala at Shan, Paya or Mutton Biryani at Usmania, Nehari or Charga Chicken at Sabri Nehari or Langan Chicken at Hyderabad House, just to mention a few Devon Avenue favorites.
I think I will, however. Not so sure about the Frontier Chicken at Ghareeb above
personally, and Iam not a brain guy anyway. The Paya and Mutton Biryani
at Usmaniya, I agree (also I go back for their kadai ghost, because on a
couple of occasions its been fantastic - but only on a couple). Nehari at
Sabri, the same.
Outside of that, Id personally rate the Chilli Chicken at Chopal up there, from
a personal point of view. I like the Langan Chicken at HH (and the Chicken
65 on occasion), but I actually preferred the Chilli Chicken this one time
at Chopal to either - was bettr tasting, to me, and with a higher heat level.
It'll definitely be among the pantheon of dishes on Devon that I go back
to the restaurant for, personally (the kadai ghost, OTOH, while decent,
wont be nearly the same kind of destination dish to me).
2240 W Devon
2253 W Devon
Chicago, Il 60659
BTW, both the above spots now have their own parking - a huge bonus if
one ever ventures to Devon on a weekend. There used to be a
grocery store with a small parking lot opposite Usmaniya - the store is
now gone, and there is a sign claiming "Parking for Usmaniya Management
only" in the parking lot. However, it actually is parking for Usmaniya
*customers* - so said the guy at the counter at Usmaniya, when I asked.
And the guy at the counter at Chopal told me (post meal, unfortunately)
that they have their own parking for customers behind the restaurant in the
alley - only about a half-dozen spots, but manna from heaven when one
can spend a half hour hunting for a spot on a weekend evening.