Back in July we were in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District to see a late afternoon movie so I suggested we try out one of the two Indian restaurants that dot Sixth Street since it would be an inexpensive and quick meal. As D had been to both (they’re only a few doors down from each other), I left it up to him to pick and he opted for India Palace.
It’s very much a no-frills kind of place but I think that’s what a lot of people expect at an ethnic home cooking type of establishment. I’m sure during the work week the place is quite busy (they offer a lunch buffet which I know is quite popular around here).
We generally order the same things when we eat at an Indian restaurant and ended up starting with a perennial favorite of ours-vegetable samosas ($3). The order came with two and to me it doesn’t matter the country or culture, fried turnovers are always a great choice. Meat samosas are also on the menu (they’re prepared with ground lamb in lieu of potatoes).
For my entree I went with alu gobi masala ($11) which is a wonderful vegetarian option. It consists of potatoes and cauliflower that have been cooked with garlic, ginger, and an array of spices. If you’re like me and have a more tender stomach and are fearful of eating Indian food, this is the dish to order. There’s no rich cream sauce and I always request minimal spice which makes for the perfect dish. Another vegetarian selection I like and would recommend if you’re new to Indian food is bengan bhartha ($12). This consists of baked and mashed eggplant mixed in with onions, tomatoes, and spices.
D opted for the tandoori chicken ($11) that came with the bone-in. As he normally gets chicken tikka masala he was interested in trying something new and the tandoori chicken did not disappoint (it was marinated in yogurt along with spices and herbs). Tandoor dishes are baked on skewers in the restaurant’s tandoor (a type of oven) and served with sauteed onions and bell peppers.
And as we always order a bread with our meal, we split the Alu Paratha ($4). Paratha is whole wheat layered bread that’s baked on a tava (griddle). Alu paratha is stuffed with mashed potatoes. As you can tell I’m a potato addict so to me alu paratha is always a worthy selection.
The only minor critique I had of the meal is that I was never given a refill of water, nor asked if I wanted one (in both cases, D did get more water). I found this to be somewhat odd but obviously it had more to do with our waiter rather than to the food or restaurant itself.
I don’t eat Indian food too often so when I do it’s always a treat and India Palace was no exception. While a part of me would like to try out more things from the menu, at the same time I’m also quite content with my perennial favorites. For a quick and inexpensive meal, India Palace is a great spot.
India Palace Cuisine
137 6th St | Pittsburgh, PA | 15222