Saigruha Mart - South Indian Chaat in South Memphis
It was New Years Day and I had missed my morning flight out of Memphis. What was I thinking booking an 8 a.m. flight on New Years Day? My brother picked me up from the airport and I thought the least I could do is treat him to dinner. We gave ourselves the challenge of no chains, and on New Years Day it looked pretty bleak. Eventually we saw a Mexican restaurant open on the corner of Winchester and Germantown Road, but when we pulled into the parting lot we saw something even more interesting: an Indian grocery store with a small kitchen attached. So of course we had to peek inside and only then discovered that it is very specifically a South Indian chaat house. Now I have only been to a few chaat houses in Berkeley, California and elsewhere around the San Francisco Bay Area, so I felt we had stumbled on something special.
My brother and I shared an Andhra Chili chicken dish, a chicken curry, and a Paper Masala Dosa. They were all excellent. The chili chicken was as spicy as requested despite us being the only non-Indians in the place. The dosa was as good as I have had, a perfect blend of crispy and chewy, stuffed with a potato and vegetable mixture that would have been a great meal by itself. I wish we could have ordered even more dishes because their menu was pretty vast. Idli, dosas, biryani, and the list goes on. The food was excellent. This place is definitely a diamond in the rough. Here's a menu from their website.
Oh yeah, the videos! Besides being a grocery story and restaurant, they also rent videos, so the lone decoration on the wall was a giant TV showing whatever videos fits their whims. Our movies was a historical piece about a king of the Mughal Empire with most of the subtitles not visible. This made it even better since we were forced to invent what we thought the movie was really about.
I would like to hear from people who live in the area who can dive deeper into their menu.
7227 Winchester Road
Memphis, TN 38115
I've driven past there a number of times but never stopped in, thinking it was only a market. (There is also a good Indian grocery on Trinity next to Shelby Farms.) Now I may have to try it--like tomorrow!! I am obsessed with chaat. I went to India Fest this year at hte Agricenter and there was some amazing chaat being served--maybe some came from this place??