Awhile back I had a blind date. It wasn’t necessarily romantic, but we did meet online.
Through tweets or comment exchanges, Angela of Go Shepherds Go had mentioned an impending move and I suggested we should meet up before she left town. Being equally adventurous we agreed on Bombay Bistro for a weekday lunch (she had never eaten Indian food). An internet date was born.
Bombay Bistro sparked my curiosity after spotting it on the side of I-55. Admittedly, my knowledge about Indian food is limited. I have yet to try cooking it myself, believing some genres are best left to the professionals.
Shortly after arriving Angela walked in, we introduced ourselves and found a table. While sharing background stories a basket of naan was delivered to the table and the waiter pointed us to the buffet near the entrance. We traversed the long dining room and filled our plates.
The buffet has a fair amount of items to choose from and are labeled on a clear partition above the chaffing dishes. There is a large rice cooker, section of fresh vegetables, chutneys, sauces, and a table with a couple appetizers. I took an ample scoop of Butter Chicken, some chick peas, spinach, lentils, basmati rice, potatoes with peas and pakoras. I can’t remember the exact names of everything I ate and the labels are undecipherable from the photo. My apologies.
What I can tell you, is the naan was hot, chewy and crispy, the perfect accompaniment to sop up the rich, smooth Butter Chicken sauce. Each dish I tasted was fragrant and some were spicy. Although it was good, I couldn’t help evaluating the food next to Spice Avenue.
Like comparing a new car versus a used car, Bombay Bistro and Spice Avenue are similar yet different. Either car would get you where you need to go and essentially both restaurants offer the same things, a lunch buffet and Indian food.
But like a new car, Spice Avenue is more polished and the flavors of the food are a little bit brighter. However it’s also more expensive, making the lunch buffet at Bombay Bistro a bargain ($12 versus $8). I paid only $1.99 for a creamy, refreshing Mango Lassi (it’s a dollar more at Spice Avenue).
Bombay Bistro hasn’t been able to shake the hotel bar aura and iridescent beer signs still glow in the windows. It feels slightly used, but the owner was very nice and courteous.
If you are new to Indian food it’s an ideal place to taste several dishes and not break the bank. It was the best blind date I’ve ever been on.