Where Does This Indian Eat Indian? India's Restaurant

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Photo by Kanu Patel
Papdi Chaat
No clue what a dahi papdi is? Aloo gobi or vindaloo? Wondering what the hell a paneer tikka is? I'm Indian, and I don't even know what's in chicken 65. Or jalfrezi.

Indian food can seem wildly exotic, and sometimes mysteriously unappealing, just like the jolting aromas, loudly chaotic streets and unnecessary shoving of India itself. But Indian food, curries, kormas, naan and all, can be wonderful if you simply know what you like, what to order and where to go. And a little ice-cold kachumber raita, like aloe vera on a sunburn, never hurts.

So where does this Indian eat Indian? India's Restaurant, of course.

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Photo by Kanu Patel
For more than 20 years, India's Restaurant has been serving a loyal clientele its fresh, robust North Indian dishes. With influences from the foothills of the Himalayas to the eastern shores of the holy river Ganges, India's masterfully concocts age-old favorites habitually feasted on at gargantuan Indian-American weddings while also specializing in other, lesser known, yet fabulously tasty, grilled meats and veggies in curry.

India, with a population now at one billion, boasts a wide variety of topography, languages, people and thus food. In the South, flying saucer rice and lentil cakes, or dosas, overflow even the largest plates, and coconut, rice and seafood dominate. In the western desert state of Gujarat, my personal motherland, Indians remain primarily vegetarian, eating from large steel thalis, or plates, filled with a variety of entrees lacking a wet curry yet uniquely adding sugar. Bombay is famous for its street chaats and frankies, while uber northern regions prefer korma, keema, biryani and kebabs.

India's Restaurant specializes in cuisines of North India, particularly food from a region called Punjab, which now straddles Northwestern India and Eastern Pakistan. Even Indian food novices who have merely dabbed their lips with masala have probably done so with Punjabi dishes such as saag paneer, cholay, chicken tikka masala and tandoori naan. Punjabi cuisine is known for its vibrant colors, heavy cream and thick gravies. Copious amounts of onion, garlic and ginger enhance the flavors of the spice, and large amounts of clarified butter, or ghee, provide a soothe smoothness.

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Photo by Kanu Patel
Buffet Line: Saag Paneer, Butter Chicken, Lamb Curry
Whether you're an Indian food novice or masala pro, India's maharaja feast of a buffet is the way to go. Its one of the best spreads in Indian cuisine I have ever seen.

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Photo by Sapna Patel
Tandoori Chicken

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Photo by Sapna Patel
Garlic Naan
Every Sunday, to a packed house, India's provides hot, fresh lamb curry, butter chicken, navratan korma, pakoras, basmati rice, daal and much, much more. Waiters deliver naan piping-hot from the oven directly to the table. Just make sure it's garlic. Be friendly to the waiters, bat them eyelashes, and dahi papdi chaat could arrive at your table along with some fresh-from-the-oven, shiny-red tandoori chicken. No matter what you fancy from the buffet, no one leaves India's anything but overstuffed, unable to move...and maybe even a little smelly.

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Photo by Sapna Patel
Paan
Then, at the end, in little gift-like silver foil, paan is presented to freshen and mintify undeniable funky breath. Made with betal leaves and stuffed with areca nuts and spices to aid digestion, paan is a bit strong for my taste but an Indian delicacy and must-have for most natives. I just grab an American peppermint in my yellow stained fingers and attempt to neutralize the spices that will take at least until tomorrow to fade.



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Location Info

India's

5704 Richmond Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


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8 comments
fultond
fultond

India's...finally! Yes. It's closer for me than heading to Hillcroft for lunch, the prices are about the same and I feel comfortable meeting clients there with the linen tablecloths and decent ambiance. Plus they have a full bar, and it's a friendly joint with smiling people who can recommend something we've never tried but is special that evening. All around happiness for me

 

visforveggie
visforveggie

There's nothing like a good ol' Indian buffet!  I haven't been here in years, but those pictures are definitely making me drool right now!   love me some saag paneer!

jamesx
jamesx

The food here is GREASY/OILY. Tandoori chicken is dry and over cooked. Also, second what Bengalabad said. My family and I (all brownies) are treated differently than when I am with Caucasians from work.

Bengalabad
Bengalabad

India's provides two tiers of service: the higher quality of the two is provided to their Caucasian clientele. My wife and I have noticed stark differences over the years. They are typically reluctant to give booth seating to non-whites. We've used a trick and called in to reserve a booth in advance and give an Anglo sounding name. Last time we went for a buffet, the tandoori chicken, which is typically tasty, had a foul taste to it. We noticed the waiter telling the white customers not to take the chicken from the buffet and that a fresh batch would be brought out to them. When I waged a complaint about the taste, our waiter told us to try the white meat from the buffet instead. Perhaps they think that white patrons demand a higher level of service and others will return without it. if the food wasn't so damn good, it would be hard for me to overlook the blatant racism against your own people. Indian club/restaurant owners have a history of the two tier service. Why come back? As I eluded previously, it's some good punjabi eats. I even had them cater my wedding. I'm such a hypocrit. My bad.

Devlin
Devlin

Thanks for writing about Indias, it's been a long-time favourite and I was wondering how long it could go uncovered. The lot is usually packed at lunch, but there is secret parking behind the restaurant. Super value.

angeli3
angeli3 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Funny, I thought that place was a typical Americanized Indian place (albeit not a bad one), since many dishes on the menu are what you'd see in Americanized Indian restaurants across USA like Colorado. (And a few dishes that you mentioned like butter chicken are actually British.) As for buffets....I know of one much better buffet place -- Mayuri on Westheimer, which is always packed on Sundays and about 90% of customers there are desis.

Jalapeno
Jalapeno

I wonder why so many Indian places offer buffets.  Is this one only on Sundays?  I'm not big on buffets but the pictured dishes look pretty good and certainly better than the last Indian buffet I suffered through.  Always on the look-out for a spicier vindaloo.

sapnakp
sapnakp

 @Jalapeno A lot of Indian meals include several different veggie and sometimes meat "entrees" which if ordered a la carte can end up being quite expensive.  So my guess is the Indian buffet is just more practical in order to have a full Indian meal (veggies, meats, chutneys, daals/curries, yougurt, bread, etc etc).  

India's provides buffet 7 days a week

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