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Canteen-style vegetarian Indian food in Chicago?

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Is there such a thing? I just moved to Chicago and, upon the advice of a friend, have sampled a few restaurants on Devon Street. Udupi Palace and Arya Bhavan were good, though the food felt a little "dumbed down." Viceroy of Indian was horrible--watery and tasteless (though the friend I ate with, who had enjoyed their food previously, said there was something distinctly off about the meal).

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  1. I have eaten at many Indian food places and find the same thing in most. The only place that has truly satisfied my need for authentic, delicious, not dumbed down food is India House in Schaumburg. It is not the closest restaurant but no other place even comes close to it!

    1. I have to ask: what's canteen-style?

      The best I could find on the internet is that it means you sit at long benches (like a mess hall?) Is that right?

      1. By "canteen-style," I meant something akin to a Hindu temple canteen--cheap and good. But I suppose I also meant food that's not overcooked, underspiced, or otherwise tailored for "Americans."

        1. I'll be visiting my sister soon in Naperville & she has told me that the Hindu temple in Aurora sells/serves delicious, inexpenive South Indian food on weekends. Anybody is welcome. Also, I've read some threads with suggestions of great food on Devon ave (most recs are for Pakistani which is basically North Indian style food).

          http://www.balaji.org/web/home.aspx

          1. There are a few places that cater to Pakistani cabdrivers in the Near North neighborhood. I often pick up food from Baba Palace, at 334 W. Chicago, and they're surprisingly good. I used to go to a place a bit west of Wells about halfway between Chicago and Division, although they were so slow I gave up on them. I am curious about another on Orleans a block or two north of Chicago, where the sign says vegetarian and non-vegetarian; I keep telling myself they might have aloo gobi, but I'm afraid to go in and find they don't.

            1. I'd recommend Uru Swati. Very cheap vegetarian chat. There are a couple of dishes that inexplicably come with a French roll, but everything else is excellent.