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Ritu Ki Rasoi in Burlington

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My husband was in the Burlington area and noticed the sign for a new Indian restaurant tucked away in Burlington. Anyone have any intel on it?

http://www.ritukirasoi.com/home

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  1. Heck they have pani poori on the menu...

    2 Replies
    1. re: StriperGuy

      I love this - hilarious!

      # We are excited to announce a cure for your winter blahs! As the temperatures dips we offer you hot samosa and hot Masala chai for a price that keeps pace with the temperature dips. Here is what happens -- We will post the daily temperature as it shows in our window Thermometer at noon and based on that you the following sliding scale for a Masala chai and 2 samosas--
      # Temp 40* or below but above 31* you pay $4
      # Temp 30* or below but above 21* you pay $3
      # Temp 20* or below you pay $2.
      # What a deal!Come in and take advantage of our naivete!!!

      1. re: Bob Dobalina

        How'd I miss that. Awesome.

    2. They have khasta kachori and a good selection of Indian street food.

      I had cabbage and peas and methi rajma. Both were flavorful and pleasantly light on oil. I had gobi manchurian to go, and that was wonderful. Crisp cauliflower in a piquant sauce. I'll try the haka noodles next; they do have a variety of Indo-Chinese items in the menu.

      1. My husband picked up some food for me the other day from here and I thought it was pretty good. That being said, my knowledge of "authentic" Indian food is rather nonexistent...

        They have a list of items on their menu here: http://www.ritukirasoi.com/menu

        They also have weekly specials with different dishes.

        1. Thanks for posting this. I had a nice lunch of hara bhara bhel and a combo #1 (an eggplant and a paneer curry, rice, a little undressed mixed salad). Flavors were good, light on the oil as noted, tastes like home cooking. It's a takeout-geared place but with plenty of seating; order and pay and they bring your food, served in plastic/styro/paper. The room is large, simple and serviceable. Almost entirely Indian clientele when I was there. Look for Burlington Auto Parts on your left going north, it's hidden along the side of that building. I wish it were less of a hassle for me to get to but I can definitely see going back.

          1. My first time there tonight, for the regional Wednesday night buffet, for which cuisines alternate.
            Today it was Gujurati. $16 including tax.
            Lilva Kachori
            Patra
            Khatta Dhokla
            Daal Dhokali
            Surati Undhiyo
            Kadhi
            Dahi Batata nu Shak
            Tindora nu Shak
            Ringana papdi nu Shak
            Raw papaya chutney
            Gulabjamun
            Basoondi
            Amras
            Pooris, plain and methi
            Chapati
            Chaat, salad, papad, Khichiya

            Most of these dishes are vegan, I learned as I asked about the unfamiliar ones. Turns out the gracious woman explaining them to me is Ritu herself. My favorites were Lilva Kachori - a wheat-crusted deep-fried bun with a lentil filling, Patra - similar to stuffed grape leaves but acacia, not grape, and Ringana papdi nu Shak, a stew containing eggplant.

            The food was delicious and filling. I would not venture to make these dishes myself, but WOULD be interested in knowing what they contain.

            Ritu mentioned that their Diwali celebration will be November 14. The buffet will have three times the number of dishes they normally have on Wednesday evenings. I imagine they will be slammed. They were pretty full tonight - I was the only "goy" amidst a number of Indian couples and families.

            8 Replies
            1. re: greygarious

              Wow, very cool. Thanks for the tip.

              1. re: greygarious

                So the lady and I had to go to Burlington for something tonight, and I looked this thread up this morning to see if the Diwali buffet was in fact tonight. It was! I talked her out of her original H-Mart plan so that we could check this place out.

                Sweet merciful crap was this ever a freaking orgy of a buffet. I'm very glad we came. There was a ton of stuff here I'd never heard of, much less tasted. I came in really wide-eyed, hoping to get a taste of everything, but I just couldn't. There was too much stuff. Savory highlights included the aloo dum (my favorite), pindi chana, some sort of paneer, a spicy eggplant dish I didn't catch the name of, and there were like six curries to boot. The rices were excellent. There was some sort of Indian spicy pickle side that I was told is traditional. It was great.

                There was a big section of savory food that wasn't labeled. They had something called ratatouille pinwheel, which didn't seem terribly indian but was delicious nonetheless. There were a few samosa-looking things that were great. I started running out of steam when I got to the minty raita stuff. The only thing I genuinely didn't enjoy was the mulligatawny soup, which is strange, since it's not really the most far-out dish. I'm far, far from a picky eater, but this stuff tasted like old cigarettes to me. Very strange. There were a lot of flavors in these dishes I'd never really encountered. That was the only bad one.

                There was an extensive dessert section. The gulab jamun was freaking out of this world. I'd never had it before, and if anyone ever sees this on a menu, order it. Outstanding. It's basically soft balls of fried dough served in a cardamom syrup. There was something called thandai mousse, which was delicious but extremely rich, and I didn't have the wherewithal to eat a ton of it. Another great dessert I'd never heard of was badam ka halwa, which is like a very sweet and gritty almond butter. No one's a bigger fan of nut butters than I am. I found some extra space to pack this in. The raj bhog was a totally new sort of dessert for me; these are extraordinarily spongy little balls that are kept in -- and soak up huge quantities of -- a syrupy broth. When you bite one, the juices just pour out of it. They tasted strongly of saffron and were not particularly sweet, but the experience was a really interesting one.

                So, yeah. A great time. They had a lot of masala chai and lassi and some sort of warm custardy almond drink. The food was all piping hot, most of it was spicy, all of it was flavorful and made with great skill and care. I was really impressed by everything. The place was positively hopping and everyone was in good spirits; when we left at around 8PM, there was a line out the door. They were cooking a ton of food and the quality was all very high.

                Anyone else lucky enough to make it out here tonight? This place, I'm sure, does a fabulous regular buffet as well. Thanks again to greygarious for mentioning this on the board.

                1. re: FinnFPM

                  We made it there for the first time tonight (thanks greygarious for the post last week!) and really enjoyed it as well. I enjoy Indian food in a not-particularly knowledgeable-but-I-know-what-I-like kind of way, and found a good balance between familiar and new flavors. The variety was incredible, and it was fun being around so many families celebrating the holiday.

                  1. re: FinnFPM

                    Awesome post - thanks! Will definitely put this place on the "to try" list.

                    RE: love of nut butters - make sure you make it to Fastachi.

                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                      I'm terrified of going to Fastachi. I very much feel like I'd remember walking in the doors, and then I'd wake up in some ditch, two days later, with dried cashew butter all over my face and a $900 bill in my pocket.

                    2. re: FinnFPM

                      According to a friend, you likely encountered their "Chappan Bhog (56 dishes)" extravaganza Diwali holiday buffet. A good day to visit. Their everyday fare may not be so extensive, but still excellent.

                      1. re: Rasam

                        We quite certainly did encounter their Diwali buffet, as was repeatedly and explicitly stated.

                      2. re: FinnFPM

                        Well, I am very envious! I would have loved to go for the Diwali buffet but I knew it would be crowded. When I was there on Halloween I found the dining room too hot so I sat at a table in the counter room. Clearly it was going to be more crowded last night, and being partially disabled, I am unable to stand on line for more than a few minutes. Thanks for rubbing in how much I missed! ;>)

                    3. I went to the Wednesday night buffet for the first time in 3 months. Things have been upgraded - metal flatware, cloth napkins, and plates that while plastic, are not disposable. Probably melamine. They have redesigned the website but still don't appear to be updating it promptly. It would be helpful, in making plans, to know the lunch and dinner buffet dishes at least a few days ahead of time.

                      Once again, the food was delicious but of indeterminate composition. Almost all the patrons appear to be of sub-Asian continent origin so probably are in the know, but if they are interested in growing their "goy" clientele, it would behoove them to include more info on the labels. I would like to know which are appetizers and desserts (it's not always obvious - what I thought was rice pudding was some sort of sour savory), and perhaps what the major ingredients are.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: greygarious

                        One of the reasons I don't go there is that the dishes only have the Indian names on the menu and no description. This sounds like a few of the other reasons have been removed.

                        http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....

                      2. I went for the third time last night, which was a chaat (Indian street food) buffet. The food was about 15 minutes late in appearing, but I did not mind the wait as I'd gotten there early on an unseasonably hot day and enjoyed the air conditioning and fan. Perhaps a dozen people had drifted in by the time someone was prepared to dish out the Choley, at which time he was swarmed en masse. It was delicious. All the items were unknown to me and most tested the limits of my meager tolerance for hot peppers, but were worth the stretch. One dessert option was a very thick sweetened yogurt, the consistency of cream cheese frosting, that was mixed with diced strawberries. It tamed the burn perfectly.
                        It was nice to be recognized by Ritu in light of the fact that I haven't been there in months. By the time I left, just before 7, the place was jammed beyond the capacity of the AC to compensate, and there was a line out the door. I wonder if every Wednesday is that busy, or if the chaat menu has special appeal.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: greygarious

                          gg, thx so much for reminding me of this place. We used to go to Pongal in Chelmsford, and they were (are?) doing a Wed chaat buffet.(but we decided we preferred Udupi Bhavan and Biryani Park.

                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/743920

                          We must try Ritu soon. Thx again.
                          p.s. patra is made not from acacia leaves but from Colocasia leaves ("Elephant ears")which are spread with a filling and rolled into a tight cylinder and steamed,fried and sliced.yumola.

                          If you or any other CHs want to meet us for earliest time at their Diwali feast this Nov., contact me via my member page. (I totally understnd your standing issue, gg,and it's just as easy to load 2 plates of food as one.)

                        2. I wanted to see what region was represented for this week's Wednesday dinner buffet; the website indicated that it's a holiday associated with Diwali so tonight's a bigger deal, and I'm not going to make it. But Sunday, Nov. 3 is Diwali, so they are sure to have something special for that day's lunch buffet, maybe dinner specialties too.

                          15 Replies
                          1. re: greygarious

                            grey, i just called and she said their special Diwali meal was TONIGHT. all done. sunday there will not be a special meal, just their regular Sunday brunch/lunch but no dinner. phooey darn darn darn. well, we're going soon anyway.

                            1. re: opinionatedchef

                              I have come to love this place. I have now enjoyed their lunch buffet at least 6 times and have been very impressed with the quality, variety and authentic flavors of each dish. I was hoping to go to the Wed night buffet this week because the owner told me on Tuesday that they would serve a Diwalli special buffet with over 50 items. She told me that she was worried about being able to handle the crowds given the size of the restaurant. IMHO Ritu Ki Rasoi ranks as the best Indian restaurant north of Boston so if you are a fan of Indian vegetarian cuisine be sure to try it.

                              1. re: RoyRon

                                RoyRon, I haven't tried Ritu Ki Rasoi to compare, but Meena's Kitchen in Nashua NH is not only the best Indian restaurant I've been to North of Boston, I think it may be the best I've been to anywhere.

                                1. re: crowdingthepan

                                  I have heard of Meena's Kitchen and that it is very good but haven't gone to Nashua to try it. RTK is relatively close to where I live and I find the food to be excellent. Everyone I have taken there has loved it too and made repeat visits. The thing I like the best about it is that each dish has its own unique flavors so you don't get that everything- tastes- the- same that you get in other Indian restaurants. I also like that the spiciness of each dish hasn't been toned down for Western tastes.

                                  1. re: RoyRon

                                    ron, meena is a wonderful cook but if her setup is the same as last yr, she has a pre set menu every night- maybe 5 dishes., so not lots of choices. there is a bigger menu but she is geared towards doing the pre-set and it often takes a long time to rcve other dishes. i was particularly impressed by her chutneys (much to my surprise) which were quite amazing.

                                    The RTK web info is so awful; do they just do the lunch buffet on workdays? does it continue into dinner or do they not do a dinner buffet except for Wed.? do they do any special wkend menus? i'm very psyched to go but want to figure out the best day and time. do you know if dosa and uttapum are offered as part of their buffet? thx much.

                                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                                      RKR is not good about keeping their website daily menu current. There's a Tu-F lunch buffet, which has around a half-dozen items. I've not been to that one so I don't know about dosas and uttapams then. Those ARE included in the Sat-Sun brunch buffets I've been to. There are probably 15-18 dishes for that one. The only dinner buffet is Wednesday.
                                      That buffet has close to 2 dozen choices, and rotates through the various regional cuisines - the bread accompaniments vary according to region. If there is a holiday, there will be a special menu rather than a strictly regional one. Because of the buffet cooking, they do not offer the regular menu on Wednesday night. I am not sure if that's also the case with the weekend brunch.

                                      OC, I would suggest you try Sat or Sun brunch, because those are pan-regional. You'll have a wide array of choices.
                                      If you go on a Wednesday night, you might experience dishes and flavors you've never encountered before, which could be great or not so much, depending on your personal palate.

                                      1. re: greygarious

                                        On a fairly recent weekend afternoon I was asked if I wanted menu or buffet (I chose the latter, as did everybody else there). A server came round with some rather oily-looking plain dosas (IIRC, may have been another flatbread, but I declined and don't remember clearly). Don't remember uttapam but it may well have been there. Overall I was quite happy. It struck me as much more geared to desi expats (the vast majority of diners) than locals. Nothing was killer spicy.

                                        1. re: Aromatherapy

                                          hi aroma, we may try and go today so thx for that info! (btw, just fyi, i believe 'desi expats' is redundant; desi will do! )

                                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                                            desi refers to south asian people/culture/etc. so it would not be redundant.

                                          2. re: Aromatherapy

                                            Well, the other night might not have been the best Wedneday Buffet night to try out RKR. It turned out that that night's theme was Indian Street Food. What this is is
                                            100% carb snacks. Ask me what I had, and it pretty much came down to: Potatoes, various dal, and crunchies (think broken up Samosa shells). Mind you, an endless variety of dishes but all featuring those three elements. (No rice- that was surprising.) There were about 20 main items on the buffet, plus condiments and desserts.The most unusual dish was a warm soup-like dish of sprouted tiny dal . Now that was a very nutritious dish; it had somewhat the texture and flavor of wheatberries. Neat. It would never occur to me to serve a hot dish of sprouted dal, but it makes great nutritional sense because of the sprouted state.
                                            There also was an unspiced yellow dal that made a great accompaniment to the spicier dishes. Except for a chutney or two, nothing was ' hot-spicy', but def lots of spice flavor. I thought her tomatoey dishes were particularly good. (And yes, that was me having 4 helpings of the dessert sev kheer- vermicelli noodle cardamom flavored sweetened milk - but that's another story!)

                                            Logistical Heads Up: We arrived at 5pm; all dark. Someone came to the door and said 6PM.
                                            We came back at 6 . They were just putting the last dishes on the buffet, and the second, inner room, was peopled or tables marked 'Reserved.'
                                            We sat in the front room and by 6:30 the place was 100% full. When we left at 7:15, there were at least 30 people crammed into the front vestibule, waiting. Whew! Lots of babies and kids of all ages. About 80% Indian and 20% haoli (many greeted as regulars.)

                                            Next time we will go back for her more usual? Wed buffet that features a different region each week? and i will call her during the day before to find out what the theme is going to be.and what time it begins. Hoping for some great uttapum, upma, dokhla and rava dosa, my personal favs.

                                            1. re: opinionatedchef

                                              HI O.C.
                                              Your experience is about what I have heard from other people who have tried their Wed buffets. Very, very crowded. Given that Burlington has the highest concentration on Indian people in the Boston area it is no surprise that RKR is so popular.

                                              I recommend you give it a try for lunch some day soon. The choices on the buffet are more limited but I have always found them to be varied and delicious. They also come around with dosas, chappati and yesterday had poori too. The dosas at lunch yesterday were especially good and filled with minced red onion, coriander and sprinkled with a nice chilli powder. I had two.

                                              1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                The advertised, standard opening for the Wednesday night buffet is 6pm. It is unlikely that all the dishes will be ready by that time but you'll be able to get started. I don't know how far ahead the menu is decided. If it appears on the website - at all - it usually isn't till an hour or two before starting time.
                                                I recommend the Gujarati one. No idea what the dishes were called or what was in them, but everything was great.
                                                The Chaat buffet was very busy the time I went, too. That MIGHT be more populat, being pan-regional, than the strictly regional Wednesday nights.

                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                  Thx you two. I wonder if she is doing any serious thinking about moving to a bigger space. i also wonder- if she has that much response to the wed. night buffet, could she expand to 2 nights of buffet per week....

                                                  rr, can't remember if you have tried Biryani Park- but they do a v large variety of dosas there. also, Udupi Bhavan in Chelmsford does a dosa night and he is a v good chef.

                                                  http://www.udupibhavan.net/

                                          3. re: opinionatedchef

                                            Hi O.C.

                                            I think Gregarious answered most of your questions but I will try to add a few more comments. I've only done the weekday lunch buffet which is as Gregarious described. They do come around with dosas and chappati. I really want to try the Wed night regional buffet and the weekend buffets but haven't had the chance yet.
                                            Their standard menu seems to be somewhat limited and includes mostly what I would call Indian street food. Nothing wrong with that and some Indian friends of mine go there just for those dishes.

                                            Based on your past posts about Indian restaurants and food I think you will like RKR. Any day you want to go for lunch just send me an e-mail and let me know.

                                            1. re: RoyRon

                                              Some days they have poori on the buffet instead of coming around with chappati.

                                              ----------
                                              Out of the ten times I've had the weekday lunch buffet, I was served dosa with a potato filling once, the rest of the time its has been "plain" (w.red onions/cilantro/powdered spice sprinkled inside) - but there is usually some potato dish on the buffet you can fill them with.

                                2. finally went to this place- we could barely decipher the menu, had a hard time figuring out "how it worked" (order at counter? sit down first? buffet or no?), but SO WHAT- everything was delicious, heat level was non-suburban, and prices were cheap to very fair. got busy after 8pm!