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Little India--a brief note

Little India--a brief note
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  • Little India--a brief note

    Post #1 - May 3rd, 2008, 10:36 am
    Post #1 - May 3rd, 2008, 10:36 am Post #1 - May 3rd, 2008, 10:36 am
    We generally stay home on Friday nights and watch whatever came our way from Netflix. Last night we decided to gamble on a new place: Little India. They stuck a flyer outside and the internet didn't tell us very much more. It's apparently a hole-in-the-wall joint on Bryn Mawr (near the Red Line el stop) that sounded as if it might be good.

    Well, actually, maybe it sounded as if it might be good because we wanted to try something different. I think we've eaten enough Italian/Persian/Middle Eastern/Thai delivery food to last a long time. We like the cuisine and so decided to take a chance, notwithstanding a menu that trumpeted "Adding Soon: Asian Italian Fusion Cuisine & Pizza." I don't know what it means. I don't want to know what it means. And I'm pretty sure I don't want to try it, whatever it is.

    The menu right now is almost exclusively Indian and it's large. It includes some unusual things, such as paya ("Beef trotters cooked in a thick gravy w/spices, garnished w/green chillies & fresh coriander"), Goan fish curry, Kashmiri pullao, and even Goat korma (goat cooked with onion, almonds, and cream). Desserts are the usual suspects except that they also offer carrot halwa and a sweet potato custard. As is apparent, they have a deeper menu than one would expect for a take-out joint. (Having not been in person, I know nothing about the place itself except that some descriptions on the net described it as tiny.)

    In the event, we had vegetable pakora, a half-chicken tandoori, baingan bharta (eggplant/onion/tomato etc.), and chicken biryani. We ordered both naan and paratha to see how the breads came out. In a word, the food was very good. Much better than we had feared it might be. While it may not be great Indian food, there is no question that it is surprisingly good, especially for delivery. We both found the naan a little...off, though that may have been simply because of the time it took to arrive meant that it steamed a bit too much in its foil wrapper. The paratha was very good. The pakora was not as crisp as it would have been if we ate in-house (again, no one's to blame, but delivery takes time and time takes its toll). The tandoori and the biryani were both quite good and the eggplant, frankly, excellent; portions are generous all round. Most entrees run around $8.99-10.99 with a number of the more formal/complicated dishes checking in at $12.99) but delivery was quick (less than 45 minutes), the food was well-packed, and best of all, the spices not dumbed down.

    We will happily order from them again.

    the Little Indian Restaurant
    1109 W. Bryn Mawr
    773-728-7012
    11am-11pm, daily
    (They advertise a delivery radius of one mile)
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #2 - May 4th, 2008, 9:34 pm
    Post #2 - May 4th, 2008, 9:34 pm Post #2 - May 4th, 2008, 9:34 pm
    I'm glad to see you enjoyed it, since I feared that place may not be as good as I was hoping it'd be, from seeing a few reviews of that place. Nice to see they do delivery too, since I live within their delivery radius.

    And of course, it beats the heck outta the former pizza place that used to be there.
  • Post #3 - May 5th, 2008, 2:11 pm
    Post #3 - May 5th, 2008, 2:11 pm Post #3 - May 5th, 2008, 2:11 pm
    thanks -- i pass it every day on my way from work ...

    sonja
  • Post #4 - May 6th, 2008, 6:20 pm
    Post #4 - May 6th, 2008, 6:20 pm Post #4 - May 6th, 2008, 6:20 pm
    I too tried out the Little Indian Restaurant and I thought it was ok. The food wasn't as spicy as I am used to getting (I am half indian and I need my food to be spicy)

    I would try it again, this time either faking an indian accent or telling them extra spicy.

    Here are some pics of the food:

    Image
    The cute logo.

    Image
    Chili Chicken Rice

    Image
    Paratha

    Image
    Chicken Boti (good, but not Khans)

    Image
    Chicken Boti (it is pretty though)

    Image
    Chicken Makhani (kinda like butter chicken, needs more spice)
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  • Post #5 - May 22nd, 2008, 9:07 am
    Post #5 - May 22nd, 2008, 9:07 am Post #5 - May 22nd, 2008, 9:07 am
    I ate there last night with some friends and thought it rather uneven. Some dishes were quite good (Chicken Boti, Dal Makhani, Lamb Saag), others not so good. The Lamb Vindaloo and Chana Masala were both big disappointments. Neither was even remotely spicy and came in an identical red sauce that made me think of ketchup. The Naan was really nice, the paratha rather bland and heavy.
    I did think the menu was interesting and had some things you don't normally see at restaurants. I would definitely give it another try before going back to Devon.
  • Post #6 - July 27th, 2008, 2:09 pm
    Post #6 - July 27th, 2008, 2:09 pm Post #6 - July 27th, 2008, 2:09 pm
    This is my second non-libelous attempt to post on this. :-)

    My first reaction to this place after eating there is to NEVER go back. But that may be harsh as some of the fault may be mine.

    I was there for dinner on a Fri night. I had heard some good things about this place through LTH and was eagerly looking forward to a good meal to start off my wknd. I am a vegetarian and they had enough things for me. Like a fool I ordered the vegetarian sampler platter. The waiter said that I would get a selection of 2 curries from the list and mentioned Saag Paneer and Mixed Veg curry. That should have tipped me of right there as Mixed Veg curry is not on the listed dinner menu. I ordered a regular lassi alongwith. The plate also came with a Naan and Biryani. What I ended up with was like the best spaghetti western of them all "The Good, the bad and the ugly".

    First the good. The lassi was lassi. Pretty good. The Naan was fresh form the Tandoor and was fantastic. Crisp outside, nice Char and more importantly chewy and well cooked through. In short it was like a good Neapolitan Pizza crust! 

    Now for the bad. The Biryani was reheated crap from their Lunch buffet. You all know what happens to rice dishes when they are kept on the steam tables for 4 hours. It was essentially rice sticks. The vegetables in the middle of the biryani plate were not heated through so you could clearly see that the kitchen was trying to peddle the leftovers. The Palak Paneer was just a whole mess of Palak, no sign of Paneer anywhere. Looks like people like me were grazing at lunch time and cherry picked all the paneer! This again was reheated badly in the microwave and had hot spots and cold spots. The spinach was tasty though, and I would have liked to have a go at the real thing. :-)

    The ugly was the mixed veg curry. I loathe it when I see Lima beans and crinkle cut carrots in any mixed veg curry as that is a telltale indication of frozen veggie bags. In addition to being lunchtime buffet stuff reheated; the main reason why I dislike lunchtime buffet is the well known propensity of the Indian Restaurants for using Bicarb of Soda instead of Salt. This bloats your tummy so you cannot overindulge at the buffet.

    Now, you may be asking yourselves why I did not get up and walk out. Maybe I should have. But I am a non-confrontational kind of person. And the mistake partially was mine. I try to make it a point to only order single dishes from the menu. Maybe I should make that a rigid rule for myself from now on. NO MORE PLATTERS AT INDIAN RESTAURANTS. NO BUFFETS. NO THALIS (sp at North Indian restaurants where they can peddle reheated stuff).

    But I will probably go there again and order off the menu before completely writing this restaurant off. Any kitchen that can make a Naan like the one I had cannot be all bad. I want to see what they can actually prepare. At the end of the meal when I was paying up, the hostess asked me how the meal was. I said “terrible”. She thought I said “terrific”, and smiled beatifically and asked me to come again. Maybe I will one last time.

    But here is a word to the wise. When ordering, order off the regular menu. If in doubt ask to make sure that the stuff you ordered is going to be preppared fresh and not reheated leftovers.

    I do hope to post some positive things soon. I have almost completed my Neapolitan Pizza odyssey. I have only Gruppo Di Amici and Sapore Di Napoli to try out. I would also like to introduce the board to 3 out of the way places in Pilsen worth checking out.

    Sorry for the rant. But I do hope to go to Little India and order off the menu and see how the kitchen makes Baingan and Bhindi. :-)
  • Post #7 - July 27th, 2008, 3:31 pm
    Post #7 - July 27th, 2008, 3:31 pm Post #7 - July 27th, 2008, 3:31 pm
    Indianbadger wrote:the main reason why I dislike lunchtime buffet is the well known propensity of the Indian Restaurants for using Bicarb of Soda instead of Salt.


    http://www.tatamail.com/tata_chemicals/ ... 080621.htm
    :shock: A quick google search found many links - Label me shocked and disgusted... I'm not sure what to think about dining in Indian restaurants now (which we do quite frequently)... this sounds very much like the use of MSG in Asian restaurants. Thanks for the low-down on the use of sodium bicarbonate in Indian buffets.

    Now that I think about it... isn't this just baking soda?...
  • Post #8 - September 23rd, 2009, 6:48 pm
    Post #8 - September 23rd, 2009, 6:48 pm Post #8 - September 23rd, 2009, 6:48 pm
    Knowing zilch about The Little India, my wife and I were passing by and decided to stop in for dinner. It ended up being the best Indian meal I've had in quite some time. Garlic naan was ridiculously good, and rid me of my longing for Spacca Napoli with its terrific, chewy yeastiness. Palak Paneer had rich, earthy, densely flavored spinach, and some really excellent, fresh-tasting paneer. Mutton dopyaza had complex curry, dried mango, and other flavors, and was texturally very interesting, with a mix of sweet, almost melted, slow-caramelized onions and almost-raw chopped onions with bite, that were added near the last minute of cooking. I had never tried this dish, and am very happy to add it to the "seek out" list.

    The Little India has a menu full of things I've never tried, and I look forward to further exploration.
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  • Post #9 - September 24th, 2009, 6:51 pm
    Post #9 - September 24th, 2009, 6:51 pm Post #9 - September 24th, 2009, 6:51 pm
    The tatamail link didn't work for me. I get "page not found" - anything else? When I google it I only find the same thing, someone saying "I heard they add it to fill you up."

    But also, though, a recipe with a tsp of baking soda added to keep the veggies green-looking isn't going to make you bloat any more than a cake with a tsp of baking soda added to help it rise.

    If there is enough in the dish to make you bloat, wouldn't it be making bubbles already?
    Leek

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  • Post #10 - September 24th, 2009, 10:03 pm
    Post #10 - September 24th, 2009, 10:03 pm Post #10 - September 24th, 2009, 10:03 pm
    leek wrote:But also, though, a recipe with a tsp of baking soda added to keep the veggies green-looking isn't going to make you bloat any more than a cake with a tsp of baking soda added to help it rise.

    If there is enough in the dish to make you bloat, wouldn't it be making bubbles already?

    I was wondering the same thing. Smacks of urban legend to me.
  • Post #11 - October 6th, 2009, 9:17 am
    Post #11 - October 6th, 2009, 9:17 am Post #11 - October 6th, 2009, 9:17 am
    I decided to try Little India last night with older son who is studying Hindu myths right now. We had chicken boti (which came on a sizzling platter, and was like it is everywhere but Khan BBQ, a red paste on the outside); vegetable biryani; and mutter paneer. Everything was decent and the staff was friendly, but even that close to Devon, it wasn't that close to Devon, and you paid at least a 25% premium for being in a fast-gentrifying neighborhood (with some cool old art deco buildings, by the way). I enjoyed walking along the strip more than the meal, frankly; strictly a place for folks who live relatively close by.
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  • Post #12 - December 20th, 2021, 11:19 am
    Post #12 - December 20th, 2021, 11:19 am Post #12 - December 20th, 2021, 11:19 am
    We wanted Indian food the other night and the options at Shan (which I know is Pakistani) were not speaking to me. It had been a long time since we've gotten food from Little India and we were pleasantly surprised. The weakest part of the meal was the assorted vegetable appetizer (cheese pakora, veggie pakora, onion bhajia, samosa and pappadum and aloo tikki.) The breading was too heaving on most of the items. Best out of this lot was the samosa. We also had chicken makhani, dum aloo ghobi and a lamb dish: possibly the boti kabob, plus a naan. (My email has eaten the receipt and I can't determine what it was from the online menu.) The entrees were solid, especially the lamb dish. We'll order again from them soon.
    -Mary

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