by Steven Doyle
Chaat Café is billed as a fresh and casual Indian fast food restaurant, but there is absolutely no resemblance to what you might consider fast food. The food is served in the same relative time as any other restaurant, and is hand-made to order with precision and care. The concept is a national chain, but each location has a local flair. Since Irving has a tremendous Indian population, it is very popular with the locals.
The menu at Chaat is fairly extensive with a full line of chaat, or Indian nibbles such as Pani Puri (crisp shells stuffed with potatoes and garbanzo beans) or a variety of Pakora and Samosas.
You will also spot plenty of Biryani, curries and wraps. The warps are huge and full of meats such as lamb and chicken, but there are vegetarian choices as well. Biryani is a spicy one-pot sauced rice dish that also has its own choices of proteins and is served with Raita which is a seasoned yogurt dipping sauce.
The house specialties are complete meals that are served with dal, a vegetable of the day and plain naan. There is a wide selection of stuffed naan available as well. This weekend we tried our hand at a few of the house specialties and was thrilled to find the dishes served exactly as billed. Fresh, fast and comfortable. The warm and spicy dishes went well with the very chilly night air.
It is also comforting to know you are dining where the local Desi’s lounge with friends over beer, and entire Indian families dine in or take out even during slow hours. You may want to try the restaurant on the weekend when they feature Hollywood and Bollywood karaoke.
Chicken Tikka Kababs ($8.99) are marinated cubes of chicken cooked in the tandoor, or clay oven.
Saag Lamb ($8.99) is packed with large, tender cubes of marinated lamb and served with a very creamy spinach sauce. With sides of dal and tikka paneer (creamy tomato sauced fresh cheese bites) the meal was satisfying.
The Butter Chicken ($7.99) is made with large chunks of tender breast meat that has been grilled for a smoky flavor and sauced in the lightly spicy creamy tomato sauce and served with naan and basmati rice.The best wings ever. Chaat Cafe 6550 North Macarthur Blvd, Irving