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7 Spices: Stunning South Indian in North Suburbs

7 Spices: Stunning South Indian in North Suburbs
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  • Post #31 - February 3rd, 2019, 8:17 am
    Post #31 - February 3rd, 2019, 8:17 am Post #31 - February 3rd, 2019, 8:17 am
    Dodger -
    If you start getting "the craving," and you go back, or go to another Indian joint:
    If you don't have a device that can get to the web without wifi - take a picture of the labels, or take notes on the names of dishes, and look them up later. In general, most Indian Buffets will have some "standard*" dishes, and you'll start recognizing the names, and words. If you enjoy the food, and go a few more times, no doubt, you'll see what I mean.

    *Google is everyone's friend. Here's the first result after typing the words "Standard dishes on an Indian Buffet" into a google search:
    https://firstwefeast.com/eat/2014/03/essential-guide-to-indian-buffets

    I haven't even read the full article yet, but when I got down to butter chicken, I can tell you that it's a good starter read.

    One of the things I LOVE about 7SP, is that it's almost a guarantee there's gonna be at least one thing I've never heard of before. (They could probably just make some kinda of curry dish and make up a name, and be laughing at everyone, of course.)

    Also, you'll have to get a very special server to take some time to help you with a buffet. Consider yourself lucky if you do. Hell, I've even called 7sp before going a few times, and asked them specifically what's on the buffet that day. Both times, the person on the other end just started naming a few random dishes and using the word "like" a lot.
    "The buffet is like butter chicken, paneer makhni, like aloo gobi, and like pakoras." Neither time, anything they listed was on the buffet.
    Good Luck! If you do get the craving, enjoy! Indian food is freekin fantastic, imo. But then again, I'm a pig.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #32 - February 3rd, 2019, 10:04 am
    Post #32 - February 3rd, 2019, 10:04 am Post #32 - February 3rd, 2019, 10:04 am
    Seebee--thanks for the web page, I'm going through it, may print it out (4 up). It is HUGE and very slow on my 12gb 4 core desktop, so I won't even attempt it on my phone.

    Dodger (or especially any other newbies)--If you can get town to 4800 north in Chicago on Feb 23, there will be a wonderful talk on Indian food and opportunity to ask whatever questions you may have, at the Culinary Historians meeting.

    https://culinaryhistorians.com/
    --Carey aka underdog
  • Post #33 - February 4th, 2019, 3:37 pm
    Post #33 - February 4th, 2019, 3:37 pm Post #33 - February 4th, 2019, 3:37 pm
    Don't print it -save a tree. Maybe copy/paste some of the names into a txt file or something, and keep a running tab you can access on your phone. Also, there's gotta be many other sites that have nearly the same exact info, and possibly in a better format for you. Just do a search.

    I tried to use my search-fu for a previous thread that had a list of standard-ish foods at Indian Restaurants for ya, but my patience is not the greatest today. Skipped my morning cuppa joe, and got talked into paying $11.00 for a $5.00 chicken meal for lunch at some place called "Clucker's" in Highland Park. Their house sauce was absolutely vile. Tasted like melted pecan pie (which, doesn't sound too bad for dessert,) but there's no way I'm dipping chicken in high fructose corn syrup. It was sweeter than sugar. </heebiejeebies>
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #34 - June 14th, 2019, 4:23 pm
    Post #34 - June 14th, 2019, 4:23 pm Post #34 - June 14th, 2019, 4:23 pm
    Several (buffet) visits later, I’m officially a fan. The variety is truly amazing — every visit, at least half of the dishes on offer have been different than before (I’m looking at you, Tava). Lots of relatively uncommon stuff like beetroot poriyal, curd rice, etc. Also, usually at least two desserts, and not crappy gulab jamun, either (Tava, is this getting through, at all?) AYCE double ka meetha, are you effing kidding me? Respectable kulfi, too. I don’t think a dosa is included anymore, but you won’t need it.

    NB: I’ve only been to the weekend buffet, which I’m guessing features more options than the weekday one. Also, CLOSED MONDAYS.
  • Post #35 - June 14th, 2019, 7:04 pm
    Post #35 - June 14th, 2019, 7:04 pm Post #35 - June 14th, 2019, 7:04 pm
    Reminds me -
    We 7 Spiced last week, Wednesday, I believe - but maybe Thursday. On offer was a fried fish that was spectacular. It was, of course, the dreaded tilapia. I forgot the name, but might as well just call it Fish 65 - red batter, NICELY hot. It was one of those days where they were heavy handed with the chilies, so everything was popping. Anyway, the fish didn't have any muddiness, and it was pretty sizzlin hot, and not a salt bomb. I ate my money's worth and then some. You know you're an lth'er when you top your plate of goat curry with spicy fried fish nuggets to add a texture contrast, and scoop/pinch it up with a dosa.

    Dosas were included with the weekday buffet, as usual.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #36 - June 15th, 2019, 6:50 am
    Post #36 - June 15th, 2019, 6:50 am Post #36 - June 15th, 2019, 6:50 am
    Seebee--

    I see you raved about Rivaj as well as 7 spices. If you made an A:B comparison of the two I missed it, could you point me to the comparison, or make one now? I've enjoyed both a few months apart, but I am an ignoramus to the finer points of south Aasian food, as well has have a poor memory, so I'd have to visit them back-to-back to make any absolute comparison. As well as multiple visits to Rivaj (been to 7 spices multiple times) see how much variety there is over time.

    --Carey
    --Carey aka underdog
  • Post #37 - June 15th, 2019, 8:37 am
    Post #37 - June 15th, 2019, 8:37 am Post #37 - June 15th, 2019, 8:37 am
    Well, I really like both, and in general, I've grown to think they are equally fantastic. I'd seriously not be surprised one bit if they have a few of the same people working in the kitchens because of specific characteristics of a few dishes, especially the tandoori chicken. IMO, 7sp tandoori chicken seems to always have a more pasty spice coating, and is never really charred, whereas Rivaj's is usually nicely charred, pretty damn spicy, and less spice paste coated. I HAVE, however, on two counts, experienced tandoori chicken at Rivaj that was a dead ringer for what I always seems to get at 7sp. It might seem totally coincidental, sure, but for as many times as I've been to each, the heat levels, uniqueness of dishes, the chutney offerings, and that tandoori chicken similarity - I just wouldn't be surprised at ALL if there were a few ppl that work at both restaurants.

    In general from my visits:

    Rivaj's food tends to have more heat across the board, and their tandoori chicken is better - more of a dry spice, and well charred bird parts. (but again, note, that I've had a pastier, wetter, version here on a few visits.)

    Unique offerings - the edge might go to 7sp in general, but in the past few months, the edge is VERY slight. Rivaj's buffet has grown by 4-6 dishes, AND they definitely have broadened those few dishes.

    I definitely REALLY like both. A few months ago, I would have said 7sp is better, but today? I'd say it's a toss up which might surprise everyone who likes 7sp, but has not been to Rivaj. IMO, since the offerings are different at both places each day, you'd have to make multiple visits to gather your own findings. In general, however, across multiple visits, Rivaj tends to have more heat, and better tandoori chicken. When either are ON, they are definitely ON, though. I'm usually QUITE happy to visit either.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #38 - June 15th, 2019, 2:11 pm
    Post #38 - June 15th, 2019, 2:11 pm Post #38 - June 15th, 2019, 2:11 pm
    In thinking about this place, I kinda have the feeling that it's pretty special compared to pretty much any other Indian buffet I've been to. Can anyone give a comparison to Himalayan? 7Sp (and Rivaj, for that matter,) are definitely not "Ho-Hum" Indian Buffets with tired standards.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #39 - June 15th, 2019, 11:20 pm
    Post #39 - June 15th, 2019, 11:20 pm Post #39 - June 15th, 2019, 11:20 pm
    seebee wrote:In thinking about this place, I kinda have the feeling that it's pretty special compared to pretty much any other Indian buffet I've been to. Can anyone give a comparison to Himalayan? 7Sp (and Rivaj, for that matter,) are definitely not "Ho-Hum" Indian Buffets with tired standards.


    Himalayan is northern India and Nepal. No momos/dumplings at 7 Spice, or any of the other yummy Nepalese dishes from Himalayan, while 7Spice has lots of southern specialties, and you're more likely to run into coconut chutney and idli. That said, Ayurvedic influence means flavors all across India have some similarity. But I'd say quality is similar.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #40 - July 30th, 2019, 11:42 am
    Post #40 - July 30th, 2019, 11:42 am Post #40 - July 30th, 2019, 11:42 am
    dodger wrote:I wished they had WiFi, then I could look things up.

    There is xfinitywifi here now. I will try to post some pics later
  • Post #41 - July 31st, 2019, 7:09 am
    Post #41 - July 31st, 2019, 7:09 am Post #41 - July 31st, 2019, 7:09 am
    The cashier told me that the popular items in their restaurant are the dosas and the biryani.

    I had the Indian lunch buffet (dine in) and also ordered one lunch buffet to go. For lunch buffet to go, they give you one large styrofoam container and two small round containers. The downside of taking the buffet to go is that you don't get the dosa that comes with the lunch buffet.

    Image

    Here are some of the items that were on the lunch buffet:

    Image

    Image

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    potato fry and rava kesari
    Image

    There were many other dishes on the lunch buffet. There were two types of biryani offered on the buffet: Vegetable Biryani and a Hyderabadi Chicken Dum Birani. My son's favorite dish on the buffet was the Drums of Heaven. I can't find that dish on their online menu. I would describe it as chicken drums in a zesty tomato based sauce. I saw some items that I had never seen at other Indian buffets (e.g. papad, curd rice, rava kesari, gobi manchurian, and spinach wada). I looked at the buffet tab of their online menu. It looks like they offer a dinner buffet. Normally an Indian buffet has several dessert offerings. The only dessert offered was the rava kesari. The interior of the restaurant was not as fancy as Clay Oven Tandoor in Long Grove. How does this restaurant compare to Madras Kafe just down the street? I am not exactly sure since I am not an expert on Indian food.

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