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Dec 6, 2006 04:29 PM

Quality Indian in MSP

I've tried a few of the Indian places in town, Tandoor, India Palace, Nala Pak and Taste of India.

Frankly, I've been underwhelmed with all but a few items at these places. Granted, my view point has been skewed, as the first time I had Indian, it was in London, and the hole in the wall curry houses around London are simply amazing; but my wife and I love Indian, and as she is vegetarian we're looking to find a great Indian place.

Thanks all!

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  1. Try The Vegetarian. It's located on Central Avenue in Columbia Heights, just a few blocks over the Minneapolis border. I haven't eaten there since it was still Sahib's, but it sounds like it is very good, authentic food. Here's a Star Tribune article about it:

    Udupi, also on Central in Columbia Heights, used to be very good, but sadly, the quality has gone downhill recently.

    And not exactly Indian...but Everest on Grand in St. Paul is a wonderful Nepali restaurant.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Mill City Modern

      Udupi is no longer, it's now Nala Pak.

      Everest was okay, I didn't really find it all that special, but it might've been an off night.

      1. re: Mill City Modern

        We thought Udupi (now Nala Pak) lost a little something with the change in ownership but it was still one of the best Indian restaurants in town so we continued to go back once in awhile and we're glad we did. We just had dinner there again last night and the food was as good (maybe better) than ever. An incredible culinary delight! It's hard to even give the other Indian places a chance when we know we'll be so happy with another meal at Udupi. Not quite as much variety as they used to have but the food is excellent. Try the noon buffet if you'd like to sample a bunch of different menu items. We usually order off the menu (and order extras) just so we'll have leftovers for another delicious meal the next day!

        1. re: Mill City Modern

          Chowspouse and I tried The Vegetarian this past week prior to seeing "The Darjeeling Express" at the Heights theater.

          I had the vegetable dhansak, and chowspouse had the Punjabi thali. The dhansak was tasty - well spiced and flavorful. The thali was ok. The pilaf rice was tasty, but the palak paneer had one (1) piece of paneer, and the spinach was not especially creamy. Overall, the food rated a good but not worth the drive. Still prefer New Delhi. The worst of it was the ambience. I'm not sure if this was driven by preparations for diwali, but there were trays of desserts just laying around all over the place, half cut up. One was resting on their cashier counter among a snake pit of electrical wires and power strips. Kind of skeeved me out, it did.

          We noticed a place down the street called Chutney, not reviewed in this thread. Next time we're in the nabe, we'll try that one instead.

        2. Last time I went to Chapati in Northfield it was excellent, the best Indian food I have had in Minnesota. Service is slow, because they make everything from scratch to order, but they tell you that up front.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Cassandra

            Two former Chapati employees (including former head chef) opened Best of India in Saint Louis Park. My test dish for any Indian restaurant is Aloo Matar and theirs is the best I've ever had. No mushy potatoes and the spicing is perfect. The tomato soup has milk in it and it is my new favorite comfort soup. While A Taste of India's tomato soup will cure what ails ya (I swear it can knock out just about any cold), Best of India's tomato soup will warm you to your toes.

            The service at Best of India is unpredictable. On slow days it is spot on but when they are busy be prepared to wait while your meal is meticulously prepared.

            I didn't think I'd ever like Naan but fresh from the tandoor at Best of India it is delicious and to my tastebuds superior to any I've tried before.


            1. re: MplsM ary

              I'll cast a second vote for for Best of India. While the food isn't the best Indian food I've ever had, it's owned by two really nice guys who are trying extremely hard to be successful - and the food is very good. I'll be the first one in line to patronize a business like this one.

          2. I agree completely that the quality of Indian in MSP is pretty poor. While in NYC last month we went to some random Indian restaurant near our hotel and were blown away. The levels of flavor and spice were amazing, that just can't be found around here. The food actually tasted delicate versus heavy.

            Dara has recommended Great India in Brooklyn Center - any one been out there?

            While we're recommending Indian look alikes, I'll throw in both Da Afghan and Khyber Pass. I find Afghan food hits the spot when we want Indian but don't want to spend the whole night bloated.

            2 Replies
            1. re: katebauer

              We absolutely love Great India (it doesn't hurt that it isn't far from where we live.)

              Another good choice is Tandoor in Bloomington (although I much prefer Great India)

              1. re: katebauer

                I've also been to Great India a few times, and it has been excellent. I have yet to be disappointed in anything there, and the same goes for everyone I've dined with there, including a couple people who have had authentic Indian grub. Definitely give it a shot.

              2. Ooh, for Afghani food, I LOVE Crescent Moon on Central. We've been eating there a couple of times a week lately. Can't get enough, I guess!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Mill City Modern

                  I keep meaning to go there but we always get drawn into Holy Land instead when we're in that neighborhood. Maybe I'll make it a goal for the week to get there.

                2. after getting back from india i scoured MSP for authentic indian restaurants and came up empty. although some places do some things better than others i am underwhelmed as well. hmm. maybe i should go to more afghani places until the indian restaurant of my dreams opens. . . a block from my house. . . and they actually make biriyani as it's supposed to be and not like fried rice. . . and you can't see the moon because of all the flying pigs. . .