Thursday, September 17, 2009

India Spice House – Eden Prairie, MN

EyeHeartPizza had been complaining that we hadn’t gone out to lunch this week – apparently she’s instituting this weekly lunch thing for me that I don’t have a say in. Yes, this IS a pattern, thanks for asking. She hadn’t had enough Indian food since she moved to the Twin Cities, so we stopped by the India Spice House. The last Indian food I had was really good – at the India Palace, so I figured we’d give this one a shot and see how they stacked up.

The place is a little confusing when you walk in. There’s a restaurant on the left and a small market on the right (that’s not the confusing part). I was unsure of where or when to pay for the buffet and the silverware and napkins were at the beginning of the line instead of the end. I like to have my hands free to wield serving spoons and tongs and such, not deal with silverware. That’s just me though. The guy behind the counter smiled and told us we could pay afterwards when I asked him about the process.

The buffet has quite a few things on it, and many of them looked good. I’m still new at Indian food, but I recognized some things and remembered some of the names. Eventually, I’ll remember these things enough to order off of a menu, but until then, I’ll need to visit a couple more buffets.

I piled on various tastiness: what I can remember… chicken Korma, curry goat, curry chicken, veggie cutlets, goat biryani, tomato dal, red pepper and mushroom orange mush (not its technical name), rice with stuff in it, and nan. There were some sauces and watermelon and pepers and such at the end of the line, but I’ll give it a few more chances before I get too adventurous with the sauces.

There was a culligan water jug in one corner for water and I didn’t see anyone else drinking anything except water. I guess you’d better like water if you come here. Thankfully, I’m a fan.

The food was decent. It didn’t overwhelm me and change my mind about Indian food like the last place did. It was good, though there were a LOT of bones on my plate when I finished. More than I remember picking out before. Some of the lamb was gristly, but the curry chicken was awesome – probably the best dish there. The chicken korma had too many bones and cartilage to be much fun to eat, but the curry was perfect. The goat biryani was probably second best, but I was able to pull the bones out of the meat before I started eating.

The guy working the counter brought out these crepe-looking things. I’m still not sure what they were made of, but they weren’t sweet like crepes. They had some sort of potato based filling on the inside. EyeHeartPizza didn’t like hers, so she quit after one bite. I didn’t mind it, so I powered through and finished one – no complaints. It wasn’t stellar, but it wasn’t disgusting. Maybe I just thought it would be sweet because it looked like a crepe or because it came out after we had already started eating, indicating it was some sort of desert. It was just ok.

Overall, the place was just kind of meh. It didn’t kill me and I liked a couple of the things there. We didn’t have time to check out the little grocery store next door as work was anxiously waiting my return. It was ok, but for my money, next time, I’ll go to India Palace.

Top 5 things about India Spice House
1. Chicken Curry
2. Goat Biryani
3. Tomato Dal
4. Veggie Cutlets
5. EyeHeartPizza paid for my lunch

Bottom 5 things
1. I found myself wondering if Gerd would have liked the food or not. Sometimes, she got really vocal about not liking food, the same volume as if she DID like the food.
2. Feel like the food was bland
3. LOTS of bones and gristle (bordering on high labor food)
4. No Dew
5. No clear directions on what to do when you walk in. Am I the only one who ever has issue with this at restaurants? I feel like I am sometimes


Ruby said...

I think it's maybe better to go to a stand up Indian place and order one good dish and one (or two!) good appetizers in order to judge the cuisine properly. Besides curry, Indian cuisine is also known for appetizers and the naan bread. I totally love Indian food!

jaci said...

can i be in the top five for anything else besides paying?

Chao said...

Quit complaining. You got moved up from the bottom 5 of the lists to the top 5, at least. Isn't that enough?

Anonymous said...

I disagree with most of your review. This is one of the most authentic Indian places I have been to. When 95% of the customers are Indian, you know you're in the right can't say the same of many other restaurants. The way the goat was served was very authentic and this is the style: with the bone. There is a little work, but nothing that can't be handled without a quick tug of a fork. The food is anything but bland. If anything, it is not spicy enough, but that's what happens when food is served buffet style; you must cater to the light palet as well. I would give it another try, or go during the evening when there is no buffet so you can have made-to-order in or take out.

Chao said...

Good point. I should give the actual menu a chance. I'm just not as familiar with the cuisine at Indian food places, so I tend to get whatever is on the buffet, hoping it's a good showing. I haven't blacklisted it or anything, just moved it toward the back of the pile.