India House

Categories: Casual, Eat-in, Indian
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Published on: May 14, 2010

This may sound mildly racist, but if you go to an ethnic restaurant and at least some of the patrons are from the same area as the food, you can guess it’s probably pretty good.  About 80% of the times we visit India House, there are actually people from that area of the world eating there.  And they all seem very happy with the food.

The wife and I recently paid another visit to India House for dinner.  Situated in an old fast-food restaurant (I forget exactly which chain) on Old Liverpool Road, India House has been around for about 10 years.  It’s a popular place with the SU crowd – during the school year, you often find groups of students and professors there.

On a recent Friday night, we were surprised to find the place fairly empty, especially since there were a few cars parked outside.  I guess the 2 or 3 other tables had guests who each drove.  We were greeted, as always, with a smile and a warm welcome.  No matter how busy the place is, even when they’re obviously harried, I think the folks there genuinely like seeing people arrive.

We were seated with menus, and within a minute our glasses were filled with water, and the pitcher left for our use.  (My wife did have a small accident refilling her water, and the synthetic napkins really don’t absorb liquid very well.)  We’ve tried almost all the entrees on the menu over the years, so now it’s down to rotating through, and who got to pick last.

Almost every time, we’ll start off with a mixed (there’s also a veggie only version) house platter appetizer – a deep fried assortment of goodies.   There are two each of chicken nuggets, cauliflower florets, a spicy onion-ball-type thing, chicken wings, and giant samosas – pyramidal puffs filled (in the meat version) with ground meat and peas.  The “worst” thing about the platter is the wings – they’re deep fried, and most of the chicken fat is still on them.  I’m glad I only get to eat one of them – I’d probably have a coronary if I ordered the wing app for myself.  The price has remained the same for the platter, but to keep making at least a little profit, they’ve cut out at least two items from past versions.  They used to have deep fried cheese, and something else I’m not remembering.  Anyway, the platter is served with two small pitchers containing a sweet raisin sauce and a refreshing mint sauce.

This time we ordered chicken makhani – tandoori cooked chicken in a rich butter and tomato sauce.  Our order of bread – aloo paratha, bread stuffed with some mashed potatoes – came on it’s own plate, sliced in two and piping hot.  There was a heaping bowl of rice as well.  She stuck with the water, while I got the mango lassi.  For dousing the spicy heat of Indian food, this concoction of mango juice, yogurt and salt (yes, salt!) has no equal.  Granted, our food that night wasn’t very spicy, but I happen to like the drink any way.

Service, as always, was prompt and well timed.  Now that they leave the pitcher of water with you, they don’t really check back with the table before you’re done unless you flag them down.   I rather like that.  I don’t need someone hanging over my shoulder, interrupting my bites, asking me if everything’s okay.

The food and the service are fantastic.  The building is a little run-down on the outside, but the inside is well maintained.  The restrooms could use a refurb, but they aren’t the worst I’ve seen.

I didn’t keep track, but I’m pretty sure our bill that night was around $21 including tax, and I tipped a little over 20%.


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