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Hyderabad House Lunch [Pictures]

Hyderabad House Lunch [Pictures]
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  • Hyderabad House Lunch [Pictures]

    Post #1 - November 9th, 2004, 10:32 am
    Post #1 - November 9th, 2004, 10:32 am Post #1 - November 9th, 2004, 10:32 am
    LTH,

    I recently met the ever engaging Cathy2 for lunch. Our original plan was to go to Usmania for Paya, but Usmania does not open until 1pm. Luckily Hyderabad House was just a few doors East, I say lucky as Cathy and I ended up having quite a delicious, and inexpensive, lunch.

    Our lunch, which came to $13.50 with two sodas and an extra round of chapati, started with Lamb biryani.
    Image

    A sauce which was used for the biryani.
    Image

    Langan chicken with accompanying rice.
    Image

    Side dish of fresh veggies.
    Image

    Resulting in one nice looking place of food. :)
    Image

    Hyderabad House is a modest restaurant, what is often referred to as a 'Taxi Driver' place. Hyderabad even has the obligatory pool table.
    Image

    As Cathy and I were leaving Naseer, the owner, introduced both himself and his head chef Bisantae. Interestingly Bisantae hails from Guanajuato, Mexico. Bisantae (L) Naseer (R)
    Image

    I quite enjoyed our lunch at Hyderabad House inexpensive, freshly made, flavorful food, friendly interactive owner, and pleasant, though modest, physical space and good conversation throughout lunch.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Hyderabad House
    2225 W Devon Ave
    Chicago, IL 60659
    773-381-1230
  • Post #2 - November 9th, 2004, 1:28 pm
    Post #2 - November 9th, 2004, 1:28 pm Post #2 - November 9th, 2004, 1:28 pm
    Hi,

    As Gary described, this meal was an embarrassing large quantity of food for an equally embarrassing little money.

    They did seem a bit surprised we were really eating dinner there. Initially, it was a bit challenging to learn what each menu item may be. Biryani had been the goal and I was attracted to Chicken Lagan, principally because the name was similar to the Indian movie Lagaan

    Picture from GaryW
    Image

    The cold vegetables came first with tamarind and yogurt sauces. Everything else showed up all at once. I still cannot get over the variably colored rice in the Biryani, just how do they do it? When we needed more bread, it was so fresh off the grill it was still puffed up like a balloon. Fresher still and we'd be eating off the grill.

    Not only was there the pool table, there were several ceiling mounted televisions playing a comedy. Especially amusing was this guy dancing around a room with a life-size cardboard point of purchase display human figure. Fun!

    The owner did indeed follow us out the door. He somewhat confronted us for all the pictures Gary was taking. For a moment I thought we may have crossed a cultural boundary unintentionally, but what was it? The owner said we forgot to take a picture of the most important person: the Chef! I was quietly relieved because I really wasn't quite sure where the conversation was going.

    Near the front door is the kitchen door, where you could peer in to see automatic rollers pressing out chapati before hitting the grill.

    As we were leaving, someone dropped a quantity of food for the pigeons by the gate. In a flash it was all eaten and the birds gone. Just as our short excursion to India concludes as abruptly leaving us back in Chicago and our real lives.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #3 - January 1st, 2005, 9:12 pm
    Post #3 - January 1st, 2005, 9:12 pm Post #3 - January 1st, 2005, 9:12 pm
    Some more pics from a more recent trip to Hyderabad House. This is one of those places that tests your tolerance for the reality of Third World dining; it has the ambience of an old Sinclair station which has been converted into a pool hall/restaurant, gaining something of the hospital waiting room along the way (the TVs playing old Indian movies add that, I suppose, which means you could play cuts from this as the background for this post).

    The best you could hope for food in such a situation is that it will produce homemade-seeming dishes which will be hearty and unslick-- and that is exactly what Hyderabad House produces:

    Image

    The yellow stuff in front is dal; the two brown goos in the middle are, left, a chicken leg in a rather gloppy stuff which needed to be warmer, and right, a very tasty lamb curry; and in back, the langan chicken [correction: chicken 65, see note below] which is, as far as I'm concerned, the one dish that you would make some real effort to come back for. I'm not saying the others weren't fairly tasty, but this is the star of Hyderabad House in my book. I made us order a second bowl, which we did not, by any normal person's reckoning, actually need.

    Image

    These are the answer to the question, what if you took some real beef and worked it over to most closely resemble tofu or seitan or a Gardenburger? They were okay, kind of like dried meatloaf.

    Image

    Another thing we didn't strictly need, but enjoyed anyway, was this late-arriving bowl of seasoned chicken. It was what it looks like.

    Image

    One surprisingly likable discovery (that's Z1, aka Steve Z., discovering it right there) was Limca, an Indian Coca-Cola product, a citrusy drink sort of like Fresca (but minus the saccharine or cyclamate chemical taste). Very light, not too sugary, quite refreshing; amusingly, a Google search reveals that they sponsor the Limca Book of World Records, India's answer to the Guinness. (Also amusing, in light of Cathy's metion of Lagaan above, is that the Limca site I linked to has a bnch of commercials to watch starring Aamir Khan, the star and director of Lagaan. It's a small world...) Anyway, I wouldn't call it a direct substitute for a Guinness, but I may have to find a six-pack at one of the markets.
    Last edited by Mike G on January 1st, 2005, 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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  • Post #4 - January 1st, 2005, 10:00 pm
    Post #4 - January 1st, 2005, 10:00 pm Post #4 - January 1st, 2005, 10:00 pm
    mmmmm,mmmm, good. Johanna
    Looking for great food at good prices here on the banks of the Des Plaines River in River Forest.
  • Post #5 - January 1st, 2005, 11:22 pm
    Post #5 - January 1st, 2005, 11:22 pm Post #5 - January 1st, 2005, 11:22 pm
    Hi,

    Loved that Limca. Mike hit it right on the spot comparing it to Fresca. It was very much like the original Fresca with the cloudiness, all it needed to go fully Fresca of old would be a few bits of pulp floating about. In the past, we have chased after Mexican Coke, we now have straight from India: Limca. My brother-in-law is from India, I mentioned to him the Limca I had for lunch. He mentioned another very popular drink, similar to Coke though more fizzy, I cannot remember the name this moment (it might be Thumbs Up - I'll check) but bottles of it were right next to Limca in their refrigerator.

    Wee correction, the chicken dish we ordered twice was 'Chicken 65.' For my wimpy chili appreciation, this Chicken 65 was hitting slight discomfort zone though it was otherwise very good.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #6 - January 1st, 2005, 11:34 pm
    Post #6 - January 1st, 2005, 11:34 pm Post #6 - January 1st, 2005, 11:34 pm
    Oh right, Chicken 65 it was. Yes, it was hot, I took one bite, then held off until my Limca arrived, it didn't bother me after that though.

    Was I right about what I said was lamb curry? I'm thinking now it was beef.

    Anyway, I should mention that our ordering method this time was 1) Gary reminding the owner of his and Cathy's previous visit (so he knew we weren't afraid of his food) and 2) saying "Bring us some of everything." With repeated emphasis on our willingness to eat a LOT.
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  • Post #7 - January 1st, 2005, 11:43 pm
    Post #7 - January 1st, 2005, 11:43 pm Post #7 - January 1st, 2005, 11:43 pm
    Mike G wrote:Was I right about what I said was lamb curry?


    It was introduced to us as "Mutton Curry." Knowing mutton is somewhat rare, I asked if it was really "Mutton Curry." He then slightly backpedaled saying it was really lamb in there. The meat wasn't strong tasting like the Mutton I remembered as a kid. Though I am not sure if his shifting from Mutton to Lamb was maybe as a clarification in case he supposed we didn't know what mutton was.

    What was clear, it came from an animal with a fuzzy coat we use to make wool. Whether it was the baby (lamb) or the parents (mutton) I am not quite sure. :D
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #8 - January 2nd, 2005, 5:20 am
    Post #8 - January 2nd, 2005, 5:20 am Post #8 - January 2nd, 2005, 5:20 am
    Is Limca readily availanle at the markets on Devon?I was planning on being there possibly within the next week.TIA.
  • Post #9 - January 2nd, 2005, 8:13 am
    Post #9 - January 2nd, 2005, 8:13 am Post #9 - January 2nd, 2005, 8:13 am
    Cathy2 wrote:Hi,

    Loved that Limca. Mike hit it right on the spot comparing it to Fresca. It was very much like the original Fresca with the cloudiness, all it needed to go fully Fresca of old would be a few bits of pulp floating about.


    Limca certainly has the "Fresca Look". The big difference is that it doesn't seem to have grapefruit as a component. That's a good thing for me, as I'm deathly allergic to grapefruit. In fact, that's the reason for my look of concentration in Mike's excellent Limca photo. I was checking the ingredients list to make sure.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #10 - January 3rd, 2005, 10:07 am
    Post #10 - January 3rd, 2005, 10:07 am Post #10 - January 3rd, 2005, 10:07 am
    Mike G wrote: (the TVs playing old Indian movies add that, I suppose, which means you could play cuts from this as the background for this post).



    I'd rather play this

    I won't comment on the "third world atmosphere" other than to say the guys there are pretty welcoming, friendly and have a sense of humor.

    Mike G wrote:
    These are the answer to the question, what if you took some real beef and worked it over to most closely resemble tofu or seitan or a Gardenburger? They were okay, kind of like dried meatloaf.


    actually Mike, those are shami kababs - which are a mix of meat and lentils, which is why you get some of the veggieburger feel to 'em


    Mike G wrote: One surprisingly likable discovery (that's Z1, aka Steve Z., discovering it right there) was Limca, an Indian Coca-Cola product, a citrusy drink sort of like Fresca (but minus the saccharine or cyclamate chemical taste). Very light, not too sugary, quite refreshing; . . .but I may have to find a six-pack at one of the markets.


    Limca (which is my favorite of the indian sodas, other than maybe vimto) is available at a number of groceries around devon, including patel bros and kamdar, where you can get it by the single bottle
  • Post #11 - January 3rd, 2005, 10:26 am
    Post #11 - January 3rd, 2005, 10:26 am Post #11 - January 3rd, 2005, 10:26 am
    As I would hope would be clear from my overall post, I didn't mean "Third World atmosphere" in a derogatory way-- certainly not in terms of the welcome, which as you say is quite friendly (and I don't have any association of "third world" and "unfriendly," not sure where that's coming from). I just mean in terms of a retrofitted cinderblock building, with pool tables and half of its bathroom (that is, the sink and towel dispenser) out in the open, it's got a definite "make do with very little capital" feel which is not especially restaurant-like (as noted, more gas station-like) and might be harder to talk less adventurous people into sitting down to enjoy than, say, Tiffin. Or The Cheesecake Factory.
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  • Post #12 - January 3rd, 2005, 1:34 pm
    Post #12 - January 3rd, 2005, 1:34 pm Post #12 - January 3rd, 2005, 1:34 pm
    Cathy2 wrote: My brother-in-law is from India, I mentioned to him the Limca I had for lunch. He mentioned another very popular drink, similar to Coke though more fizzy, I cannot remember the name this moment (it might be Thumbs Up - I'll check) but bottles of it were right next to Limca in their refrigerator.


    Hi Cathy. Yes, the soda you're referring to is Thums (no "b") Up, which is a Coca-Cola product. It is a best-seller in India--as is Limca--with a lot more fizz than many of our cola products here.
  • Post #13 - January 5th, 2005, 4:05 pm
    Post #13 - January 5th, 2005, 4:05 pm Post #13 - January 5th, 2005, 4:05 pm
    Hi,

    Loved that Limca. Mike hit it right on the spot comparing it to Fresca. It was very much like the original Fresca with the cloudiness, all it needed to go fully Fresca of old would be a few bits of pulp floating about. In the past, we have chased after Mexican Coke, we now have straight from India: Limca. My brother-in-law is from India, I mentioned to him the Limca I had for lunch. He mentioned another very popular drink, similar to Coke though more fizzy, I cannot remember the name this moment (it might be Thumbs Up - I'll check) but bottles of it were right next to Limca in their refrigerator.


    We've actually discussed Limca before on this forum - coincidentally the last
    time Hyderabad House came up in discussion :-) That was during a
    "Midnight Meanderings" thread that can be found at:
    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=1068&start=0

    The review of Limca this time is a lot better - the last time it was described
    as "Lemon Pledge mixed with soda water" :-)

    This "Coca Cola Product" bit also came up then - and it is, but not originated
    by Coke, only bought out by them in the past decade. As mentioned in
    the above thread...

    --------------

    "I also ordered a Limca soda, an Indian product of the Coca-Cola Company. The label claims the beverage contains "no fruit juice." I believe it. If you mixed Lemon Pledge with soda water, it might taste something like this. In one corner of the room, a self-serve cooler provided water. "


    Limca isnt really a true product of Coca-Cola, its just owned by them. Basically
    India had Coca-Cola way back, in the 1960s and 1970s, and then they
    got booted out of the country in 1977 when a socialist government won the
    election (to much mourning among all kids I knew, we all liked Coke and
    its products, my fave as a kid used to be "Fanta" and its no fun to have your
    fave drink taken away from you for good when youre still a kid. Anyway).
    When Coke went away, only the indigenous products were left - "Thums Up"
    was the Coke-style drink, and Limca was around, as was Mangola and
    Mirinda (an orange drink). Finally Coke was let back in when the economy
    was liberalised in the early 1990s, as was Pepsi. The indigenous drinks
    that were established werent quite as popular anymore with their entrance,
    but still commanded a bit of market-share (and probably always will) - Limca
    among them. Coke bought the company that produced them in the mid-1990s,
    and has kept them in production (wisely, because as I said they still retain
    some market-share, even if not a huge one).

    Limca isnt bad, if youre used to it - Ive had it often, and so have never
    noticed the Lemon-pledge qualities Its especially good after a heavy
    Indian meal, seems to aid in digesting the oily-spicy food I think.
    -------------


    Wee correction, the chicken dish we ordered twice was 'Chicken 65.' For my wimpy chili appreciation, this Chicken 65 was hitting slight discomfort zone though it was otherwise very good.


    Yes, HH's Chicken 65 is very good usually - but it only shows up on their
    menu once in a while. Saturday's I think it is? I happened to drop by HH
    yesterday and they didnt have it - ended up picking up a "Hari Mirchi Chicken"
    instead, which basically translates as "Green Masala Chicken". And that
    is exactly what it is - and pretty good it was, too.

    Also (if Zim is reading this - I think he had mentioned Chopal Kabab House?),
    dropped by Chopa after picking up from HH and got a menu. Fairly
    standard, but Ive heard Chopal is pretty good (not least from a cabbie I
    asked about it at HH yesterday), must try it soonish. An intersting (if over the
    top) decor - you might even prefer it to Jewel of India's, Cath :-) Also has
    pretty ornate "cushion" style seating IIRC. Chopal, BTW, is across the
    street from HH, and half a block westward (sort of bang across the
    street from Usmaniya and/or Daata Durbar).

    c8w
  • Post #14 - January 5th, 2005, 4:17 pm
    Post #14 - January 5th, 2005, 4:17 pm Post #14 - January 5th, 2005, 4:17 pm
    shanti wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote: My brother-in-law is from India, I mentioned to him the Limca I had for lunch. He mentioned another very popular drink, similar to Coke though more fizzy, I cannot remember the name this moment (it might be Thumbs Up - I'll check) but bottles of it were right next to Limca in their refrigerator.


    Hi Cathy. Yes, the soda you're referring to is Thums (no "b") Up, which is a Coca-Cola product. It is a best-seller in India--as is Limca--with a lot more fizz than many of our cola products here.


    Yes, forgot to mention this part - it *is* probably Thums Up being referred
    to, was clearly the #1 drink in India thru the 80s (when Coke and Pepsi were
    banned). It isnt anymore, though it still has a share of the market - when
    Pepsi and Coke came back in the 1990s, they almost immediately took over
    a large share of the market and pushed Thums Up down to #3 quickly
    enough. And by the late 1990s Coke had bought out the parent company of
    Thums Up and Limca - they didnt alter either drink and kept them in production
    however. Both still are drunk often enough in India nowadays - but are
    not nearly as popular as Coke or Pepsi (who are battling for supremacy
    in the enormous soft-drink market in India, just as they are eveywhere
    else. And even using quite a few similar ads as they do here - there was
    a "stealing the drink" ad here with Dominique Wilkins and MJ IIRC, back
    in the early 1990s, and that was followed by an identical "stealing
    the drink" ad in India starring 2 top cricket superstars a couple of years
    later :-)

    c8w
  • Post #15 - January 5th, 2005, 4:30 pm
    Post #15 - January 5th, 2005, 4:30 pm Post #15 - January 5th, 2005, 4:30 pm
    Speaking of such things, I recently had a Pakistani soft drink at Kababish of London that I wanted to like but could not. (And I like everything.)

    It's the color of Green River and called Pakola (I'm serious). It is numbingly sweet and tastes like a mix between HubbaBubba brand bubble gum and cardamom.
  • Post #16 - January 5th, 2005, 4:42 pm
    Post #16 - January 5th, 2005, 4:42 pm Post #16 - January 5th, 2005, 4:42 pm
    JeffB wrote:Speaking of such things, I recently had a Pakistani soft drink at Kababish of London that I wanted to like but could not. (And I like everything.)

    It's the color of Green River and called Pakola (I'm serious). It is numbingly sweet and tastes like a mix between HubbaBubba brand bubble gum and cardamom.


    VI and I lunched at Kababish, today, where I saw this item for the first time. I am generally game for new soft drinks of any stripe, but the byline, "Ice Cream Flavoured Soda," or some such, had me taking a pass.

    Erik M.
  • Post #17 - January 5th, 2005, 4:44 pm
    Post #17 - January 5th, 2005, 4:44 pm Post #17 - January 5th, 2005, 4:44 pm
    JeffB wrote:Speaking of such things, I recently had a Pakistani soft drink at Kababish of London that I wanted to like but could not. (And I like everything.)

    It's the color of Green River and called Pakola (I'm serious). It is numbingly sweet and tastes like a mix between HubbaBubba brand bubble gum and cardamom.


    Ive seen this - its available at Hyderabad House too, BTW, right next to the Limca's
    and Thums Ups - but Ive never bothered to try it. I dont think its particularly
    old, at least I hadnt seen it much until the last couple of years - and I sort of
    presumed it was named "Pak-Kola" as a sort of nationalistic cola drink meant to
    be an alternative to the American Imperialist Coca Cola (which, along with
    the Equally Imperialistic Pepsi Cola has been the most popular drink in Pakistan
    for many decades, and remains so today IIRC). Also I hadnt heard anything
    good about the way it tasted ;-)

    c8w
  • Post #18 - January 5th, 2005, 4:53 pm
    Post #18 - January 5th, 2005, 4:53 pm Post #18 - January 5th, 2005, 4:53 pm
    Unquestionably there are nationalistic colas. On the other hand, who can explain why the main local cola in Austria is Afri-Kola?
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  • Post #19 - January 5th, 2005, 5:02 pm
    Post #19 - January 5th, 2005, 5:02 pm Post #19 - January 5th, 2005, 5:02 pm
    I fondly remember drinking tons of Mirinda in Pakistan - along with the rose-flavored mega-sweet drink (someone help me with the name!)... SO tasty in the oppressive heat as a kid.
    Along the lines of Zam-Zam cola, I also recall Coca-Cola being banned in Saudi when I visited some years ago.
  • Post #20 - January 5th, 2005, 5:16 pm
    Post #20 - January 5th, 2005, 5:16 pm Post #20 - January 5th, 2005, 5:16 pm
    ab wrote:I fondly remember drinking tons of Mirinda in Pakistan - along with the rose-flavored mega-sweet drink (someone help me with the name!)... SO tasty in the oppressive heat as a kid.
    Along the lines of Zam-Zam cola, I also recall Coca-Cola being banned in Saudi when I visited some years ago.


    Did you mean falooda? Its rose-water flavoured with lots of stuff in it (can
    be found on Devon in a couple of sweet stores).

    BTW, Zam-Zam is sort of "holy water" in a way - its the water found in
    the holy places. Pilgrims sometimes carry it back in bottles for the people
    back home.

    c8w
  • Post #21 - January 5th, 2005, 5:24 pm
    Post #21 - January 5th, 2005, 5:24 pm Post #21 - January 5th, 2005, 5:24 pm
    HI,

    I am working my way through my 3rd 2-liter bottle of Kvass since Christmas, often jokingly referred to as the "Russian Coca Cola." It is a fermented (often slightly alcoholic) drink made from barley, rye and just as often from crumbled black bread. It is just as often homemade as it is available commercially. It is somewhat suggestive of beer.

    For the germ phobic - don't read or you will put your hands over your eyes running from the room - In the Soviet days, Kvass was a drink available from a rather unique two station dispenser:

    Station 1: Thick walled glass positioned upside down. You pushed down on the glass and a small fountain rinses it with water.

    Station 2: Turn glass up, drop your 5-kopek coin and the glass is filled with Kvass. Drink deep perhaps sharing with a friend.

    Station 1: Return glass to the upside down position and walk away.

    Next!
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #22 - January 6th, 2005, 10:00 am
    Post #22 - January 6th, 2005, 10:00 am Post #22 - January 6th, 2005, 10:00 am
    ab wrote:I fondly remember drinking tons of Mirinda in Pakistan - along with the rose-flavored mega-sweet drink (someone help me with the name!)...


    My mom always tried to push the concotion of Rooh Afzah on us as kids - which is a super sweetened rose syrup added to Milk, kind of Falooda without the goodies.

    Some more history on Coke in India - It used to be incredibly huge in India before the decision to leave in the 70's, so much so that my grandfather let me drink fairly large quantities of the stuff even though I was under the age of 3 (My mom wasn't too big a fan of that decision)

    I remember hearing (and this is unsupported rumor, devoid of any real factual basis, the kind of stuff you read about on the internet) that Coca Cola India was asked by the socialist government at the time to give a 51% ownership to the government as well as the formula, hence the decision to leave.

    c8w,
    thanks for the further info on Chopal. I noticed the fairly standard menu, but was intrigued by their sarsoon ki saag, especially as I wasn't all that impressed by bhabi's, do you know if your cabbie acquaintance had tried it? of course they didn't list maki ki roti to eat along side.

    and hell yeah on the decor, love those chairs
  • Post #23 - January 6th, 2005, 10:05 am
    Post #23 - January 6th, 2005, 10:05 am Post #23 - January 6th, 2005, 10:05 am
    zim wrote:
    ab wrote:I fondly remember drinking tons of Mirinda in Pakistan - along with the rose-flavored mega-sweet drink (someone help me with the name!)...


    My mom always tried to push the concotion of Rooh Afzah on us as kids - which is a super sweetened rose syrup added to Milk, kind of Falooda without the goodies.


    That'd be it! Something from my mothers childhood that they continued to drink. Maybe I'll try it again and see if I still enjoy it...

    However, without one of those cheap paper straws I just won't even try Mirinda.
  • Post #24 - January 6th, 2005, 1:36 pm
    Post #24 - January 6th, 2005, 1:36 pm Post #24 - January 6th, 2005, 1:36 pm
    Ahhh, Limca. Way back as an undergrad, I spent a semester in India. I became obsessed with Limca. Before I left, I had a Limca t-shirt made for myself. (You could get anything embriodered on a shirt for a couple bucks). At the time, we were told that the U.S. wouldn't allow Limca in because it was considered a carcinogen. I think in a warped way added to the allure. I am guessing that was an urban myth perpetutated by American ex-pats who wanted to feel special.

    Now I have even more reason to go to Hyderbad.
  • Post #25 - January 16th, 2005, 10:18 am
    Post #25 - January 16th, 2005, 10:18 am Post #25 - January 16th, 2005, 10:18 am
    ab wrote:I fondly remember drinking tons of Mirinda in Pakistan - along with the rose-flavored mega-sweet drink (someone help me with the name!)...


    My mom always tried to push the concotion of Rooh Afzah on us as kids - which is a super sweetened rose syrup added to Milk, kind of Falooda without the goodies.


    Thats exactly what I meant when I suggested falooda - just was blanking
    momentarily on the brand-name :-) Rooh-afza, the rose-syrup, in water or
    milk (usually milk). Have basically the same thing on the streets, with
    added stuff in it, and its falooda :-)


    I remember hearing (and this is unsupported rumor, devoid of any real factual basis, the kind of stuff you read about on the internet) that Coca Cola India was asked by the socialist government at the time to give a 51% ownership to the government as well as the formula, hence the decision to leave.


    I heard exactly the same thing BTW - that they wanted the formula, as well
    as "controlling interest" in the Indian division, which would mean 51% at
    least. Part of their nationalization drive. Which is why Coke left, of
    course - only to return (along with Pepsi) with very favourable benefits
    offered by the Indian Government in the 1990s.

    c8w,
    thanks for the further info on Chopal. I noticed the fairly standard menu, but was intrigued by their sarsoon ki saag, especially as I wasn't all that impressed by bhabi's, do you know if your cabbie acquaintance had tried it? of course they didn't list maki ki roti to eat along side.

    and hell yeah on the decor, love those chairs


    Dunno, only bumped into the guy at HH and asked, and he said the place was
    good. I dropped into Chopal myself, and picked up a Kadai Chicken to go a
    couple days ago - was pretty decent, with a much higher degree of heat
    than anything Ive had at Bhabi's (which, admittedly, has been like two or
    three items :-) I liked what little I saw of Chopal - they even served me
    "sweet corn chicken soup" at the start (while I was waiting for the food
    to be made to be picked up), just like they do at JK Kabab House! And a
    pleasant girl from Jordan (been in the US only 3 months, and thus going thru a
    first-winter!) named Amani was the server (and no, I didnt ask if the
    surname was Toomer :-) And the decor is quite something, definitely
    Cathy2-worthy :-)

    Looking at it, BTW, maybe it isnt such a typical menu after all - they have
    Jhinga Masala (spicy shrimp) on the menu, but no biryani! Thats not particulary
    usual on Devon, really (though I suppose JK does biryani only on weekends
    too, and its maybe a similar restaurant).

    c8w
  • Post #26 - January 16th, 2005, 12:49 pm
    Post #26 - January 16th, 2005, 12:49 pm Post #26 - January 16th, 2005, 12:49 pm
    c8w wrote:I dropped into Chopal myself, and picked up a Kadai Chicken to go a couple days ago - was pretty decent, with a much higher degree of heat than anything Ive had at Bhabi's (which, admittedly, has been like two or three items :-) I liked what little I saw of Chopal - they even served me "sweet corn chicken soup" at the start (while I was waiting for the food to be made to be picked up), just like they do at JK Kabab House! And a pleasant girl from Jordan (been in the US only 3 months, and thus going thru a first-winter!) named Amani was the server (and no, I didnt ask if the surname was Toomer :-) And the decor is quite something, definitely Cathy2-worthy :-)


    Cathy and I went to Chopal a week ago. With the exception of the aforementioned "sweet corn chicken soup," I thoroughly enjoyed the food. They didn't fool around with the spicing, either. Most of our dishes were quite spicy, if not downright incendiary. The item that offered the greatest intrigue, for me, at least, was the red-hued chutney. Our waitperson said that it was date-based, but I remain a skeptic. At any rate, I loved the flavour of it.

    Image
    "sweet corn chicken soup"

    Image
    condiments

    Image
    sarsoo ka saag

    Image
    "Chopal special quail"

    Image
    balti gosht

    Image
    "Great Desi Food 1st Time in Your Town... Enjoy The Great Fun With us"


    Chopal Kabab & Steak
    2240-42 W. Devon
    773.338.4080


    Erik M.

    *Edited to correct spelling.
    Last edited by Erik M. on January 25th, 2005, 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #27 - January 16th, 2005, 5:32 pm
    Post #27 - January 16th, 2005, 5:32 pm Post #27 - January 16th, 2005, 5:32 pm
    Hi,

    c8w you have proof your posts are read and your recommendations are followed. I arrived first to Chopal and felt like I walked into a folk art museum. To put it mildly, it is very, very colorful. It was also outfitted with at least one piece of furniture whose design suggested it was a bed or a very deep sofa.

    The food was spicier than I prefer, though I was still eating what was offered. Unlike some places we have visited, where the waitstaff is testing your spice tolerance and whether the food would agree with us, there was no such discussion. We were rather flattered they thought we could take their food as-is.

    Not pictured was the salt Lassi I ordered immediately. They offered it two ways: 1) in a simple glass or 2) in a clay pot very similar to what the sarsoo ka saag was served. I opted for the clay pot, which dampened my mouth's spice assaults very well all during dinner. The clay pot
    held multiple glasses, if you consider its volume. Given my spice tolerance I was grateful for the large quantity.

    Thanks for the heads up on this visual and palate stimulating Pakistani dining adventure.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #28 - January 17th, 2005, 12:21 am
    Post #28 - January 17th, 2005, 12:21 am Post #28 - January 17th, 2005, 12:21 am
    Cathy2 wrote:Not pictured was the salt Lassi I ordered immediately.


    Image
    salt lassi

    Now it is!

    Erik M.
  • Post #29 - February 25th, 2005, 10:43 am
    Post #29 - February 25th, 2005, 10:43 am Post #29 - February 25th, 2005, 10:43 am
    c8w wrote:
    Dunno, only bumped into the guy at HH and asked, and he said the place was
    good. I dropped into Chopal myself, and picked up a Kadai Chicken to go a
    couple days ago - was pretty decent, with a much higher degree of heat
    than anything Ive had at Bhabi's (which, admittedly, has been like two or
    three items :-) I liked what little I saw of Chopal - they even served me
    "sweet corn chicken soup" at the start (while I was waiting for the food
    to be made to be picked up), just like they do at JK Kabab House! And a
    pleasant girl from Jordan (been in the US only 3 months, and thus going thru a
    first-winter!) named Amani was the server (and no, I didnt ask if the
    surname was Toomer :-) And the decor is quite something, definitely
    Cathy2-worthy :-)

    Looking at it, BTW, maybe it isnt such a typical menu after all - they have
    Jhinga Masala (spicy shrimp) on the menu, but no biryani! Thats not particulary
    usual on Devon, really (though I suppose JK does biryani only on weekends
    too, and its maybe a similar restaurant).

    c8w


    meant to write this a while ago, but I stopped into chopal a litte while ago to pick up some stuff. It turns out that the similarity to JK is no accident. the owner is the old JK owner. He claims that while at JK, he was the first to introduce chili chicken to the devon strip. And I have to say that there's was excellent, better than JK's though not as much of a deal. Also excellent were the "goat champs". While I liked the spice level on a number of dishes, I thought that a few were overspiced, for example the frontier chicken (my favorite versions of this are more about the sweetness and caramelization of the onions and tomatoes). he had biryani that day(sunday) as well. Found it a little odd that the rice that came with a few of the dishes was dilled, since I didn't see that until we got home, didnt ask about it, don't know if that implies the cooks are sindhi (they use more dill than most subcontinentals, don't they?) or if he just likes the dill rice he gets at persian spots.

    I also didn't ask whether he sidlines in import/export but given the volume of handicrafts there's gotta be some sort of connection
  • Post #30 - February 25th, 2005, 6:58 pm
    Post #30 - February 25th, 2005, 6:58 pm Post #30 - February 25th, 2005, 6:58 pm
    Are Hyderabad House and/or Chopal at all vegetarian friendly? I have a friend who is my usual Indo/Pak food eating companion, and he doesn't eat meat of any kind. We both really love spicy food, though, and we're on a budget, so these two places sound really great. Any thoughts or recommendations of particular dishes?

    Personally, I love lamb, but that just won't fly if we want to share food!

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