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Indian and other ethnic in the northern suburbs

Indian and other ethnic in the northern suburbs
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  • Indian and other ethnic in the northern suburbs

    Post #1 - August 10th, 2018, 9:32 am
    Post #1 - August 10th, 2018, 9:32 am Post #1 - August 10th, 2018, 9:32 am
    (Split from the 7 Spices thread: http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=534395#534395 )
    I'm growing pretty fond of Rivaj Of India in Buffalo Grove.
    Speaking of Aroma, I went to that Thai Buffet next door yesterday on a whim (I was there several years ago and it was horrible.) Yesterday, however, there was a large group of about 15 people at one table. Not sure if that was the reason, but the steam trays were hot, fresh, and totally delicious. Red Curry Chicken, Chicken Larb, Beef Pad See Eiw, a veggie massuman curry, and a fried chicken substance were all fantastic, and I mean, really good. It was extremely surprising.

    Back to Rivaj -
    One office mate has sworn it off - too spicy for him.
    One other was brought to the brink of declaring it too hot.
    I got nicely sizzled a few times after eating some of the green chilies in one of the curries, but I loved it so much, I went back the next day with a different office mate for the lunch buffet. He agreed it was the best and spiciest out of the 4 or 5 in the area we've been trying. We both kinda like Aroma, but generally only for the Samosa, and the Goat Curry. So far, in my two tries at Rivaj, several of the gravy dishes have been DECENTLY spicy, but the goat curry has been mild both times. Notable - Rivaj had Mushroom 65 on their buffet the first time I went, and it was a little salty, but it was DAMN good. Crispy fried mushrooms in a decently hot/spicy red batter! It was Mushroom (chicken) Crack, but no sweet note. Liberally sprinkled on a plate of gravy dishes for the texture contrast, I was pretty happy.

    I'm gonna hit 7 spices for lunch on Monday.

    I'd also suggest for peeps up this way to hit Rijav for a try.

    Rivaj: http://www.rivajofindia.us/

    Tasty Thai: http://tastythaitogo.com/ (at your own risk)

    Aroma Indian: http://www.aromaindiancuisineil.com/

    Shout out to Mumbai Tandoor - it had become the office favorite over Aroma or Spicy Bites. I'm pretty sure Rijav will be the favorite unless 7 Spices is as good as advertised:

    http://www.mumbaitandoorvernonhills.com/
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #2 - January 21st, 2019, 3:32 pm
    Post #2 - January 21st, 2019, 3:32 pm Post #2 - January 21st, 2019, 3:32 pm
    Another quick shout out to Rivaj:

    Again, don't sleep on this place. It probably won't supplant 7 Spices for favorite in the area, but hot damn, if today's spread wasn't great. We actually took another office mate who had never been, but he was previously a fan of Aroma. He LOOKED at the buffet and said, "This stuff is real." Claimed he wouldn't be going back to Aroma after plate #1. The buffet today had pretty much doubled in size, and the chutney tray looked exactly like 7 Spices (hmmmmmmmm....)
    Seriously, coconut, 2x green, red, the pale, creamier red, and achar. Last time I went, green or red only. The food, tends to run spicier than 7 Spices, imo, so, just as a whole, it seems to have a bit more sizzle, each time I've gone. Today was no exception. Nice heat levels on all of the dishes, and the Tandoori chicken, this time, and last time, was just excellent. Nice charry flavor, but juicy inside, not tandoori pucks. The Goat Curry, green bean/potato masala, Mushroom 65, and lamb biryani were clear standouts for me today, but the tablemates were pleased with all of the food. That green bean/potato masala just SIZZLED everyone at the table - nice and spicy. Suprisingly spicy. Loved it.

    Just giving credit where it's due. This is not a boring Indian Buffet.
    Don't sleep on this place, especially on a Monday (7 Spices is not open on Monday - Rivaj is a more than acceptable sub if you're in the area and jonesin for decent Indian.)
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #3 - January 21st, 2019, 6:37 pm
    Post #3 - January 21st, 2019, 6:37 pm Post #3 - January 21st, 2019, 6:37 pm
    I was very impressed with the buffet at...

    Himalayan Restaurant
    8265 W Golf Rd, Niles

    I had visited many years ago when they used to have just a half dozen chafing pans and now they have a large assortment of various foods including a vegetarian and dessert islands.

    Food was properly spiced, spicy when needed and mild.

    The name Himalayan comes from a Nepalese connection and you will be able to find a few of those dishes in the mix.

    You will never go wrong visiting the much loved here...

    Tandoori Restaurant
    9344 Ballard Rd, Des Plaines

    Unassuming sit down in in a strip mall, serving some of the best I’ve had in Chicago. Will take a little while longer than a buffet.

    You can find pictures and descriptions on my SGD thread.

    If you’re planning a lunchtime visit (except for Friday) drop me a note as I am eager to visit either.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #4 - January 23rd, 2019, 7:53 am
    Post #4 - January 23rd, 2019, 7:53 am Post #4 - January 23rd, 2019, 7:53 am
    Is there any consensus or strong feelings between Rivaj and 7 Spices. I think I will be going to an Indian buffet in the north suburbs this weekend, and need to pick one. For reference, my wife and I are completely smitten with Godavari in Hoffman Estates. For one thing, its South Indian focus means that there is plenty for her (non-meat eater) and me (meat eater) to eat; for another the quality is high and each week they change up the offerings, so we never get bored with it.

    Thanks in advance.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #5 - January 23rd, 2019, 9:37 am
    Post #5 - January 23rd, 2019, 9:37 am Post #5 - January 23rd, 2019, 9:37 am
    Vital--nice to have met you at Boston Fish Market with the LTH North Lunch bunch a couple months ago.

    I will vouch for the authenticity (albeit I am non-Indian) of 7 Spices. Some very interesting dishes and chutneys, and it doesn't seem to be Americanized in the least. Spices are vibrant, chutneys are wonderful. And this is South Indian-based as well.

    Ciao!

    Jay
  • Post #6 - January 23rd, 2019, 12:08 pm
    Post #6 - January 23rd, 2019, 12:08 pm Post #6 - January 23rd, 2019, 12:08 pm
    Ramblings for comparison:

    I'd also say that 7 Spices would be my #1 choice over Rivaj 3 out of 4 times.
    7 Spices is a little less fancy (if that matters.)

    7 Spices has generally always had a few things I've never heard of.

    7 Spices will bring out a dosa for each diner, and I like em!
    ==
    Rivaj choices, in general, are a clip spicier (hotter) which I like.

    Rivaj will deliver hot buttered naan to the table (7 Spices has the naan cut in triangles on the buffet table)

    Rivaj's tandoori chicken, the past 2 times I've gone, has been damn near outstanding.

    Rivaj usually has Gulab Jamun as a desert choice - (I love them stupid little shits - the only thing they need, imo would be a slick of melted butter to move them into the "heavenly" category, for me)

    Rivaj is open on Monday, 7 sp is not.
    ==

    From what I had this past monday, Rivaj is closing the gap on 7 spices, but honestly, from what I saw, I wouldn't be surprised if some cooks from 7Spices were noodling in the kitchen. Like I said, the chutney selection was identical to what I've seen at 7sp in the past. Most Indian buffets I've seen only have a few 2 or 3 to choose from. 7sp has always had thin red, thin green, thick red, thick green, coconut, and some kind of achar. On Monday, Rivaj had that same lineup, AND their buffet had expanded. Just sayin'.

    If you're gonna be around Townline and Milwaukee, I'd say 7 SP is your best bet among the several I know of. (I haven't tried Priya yet.)

    I wouldn't say Rivaj is a letdown in relation to 7 SP, but 7Sp still has a small advantage in my rankings. If I go back to Rivaj, and find it's consistently as good as it was this past Monday, that small advantage will dwindle. Someone there, it seems, likes to put a little more sizzle on your tongue, and I'm down with that.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.

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