Wednesday, August 13, 2008

So Long Basmati

A local Indian restaurant, Basmati, has closed its doors. I have mixed feelings. Over the years, we have gotten to know the owner, Vincent, and the staff. When Parker was little they had a sweet woman who would bring out plain saag (spinach or greens) without any ghee/dairy for him to eat while the guys who worked there would try to buy his smiles with lollipops. Back then, the spinach won out. As Dema came along, they learned he really liked papadums so we always had a basket waiting for us as we sat down. They always seemed amazed when our little ones would eat spicy foods and were always happy to accommodate our vegan way of eating (bringing out alternative dishes for the ones with dairy on the buffet). Yet, with all this thoughtfulness, we haven't been going there as often as we once did. The food was not as reliable in recent visits and one night it was almost inedible. I am sad to see Basmati go and wish Vincent good luck!

According to the sign on the door, it will stay an Indian restaurant and maybe be another location for Bombay Indian Grill.


Meat-free Mike said...

The staff at Basmati were nice enough, but IMO, the quality of their so-called "Indian" food was not so great. In the recent past few years, EVERY dish I tasted there was FIERY HOT and had very little texture or other flavor associated with it. ALL "INDIAN FOOD" ISN'T SPICY HOT!! - I've asked many of my friends and have experienced Indian cuisine for several years now :) it just gets to be a real drag when you eat, break out in a fierce sweat, and have to drink a gallon of water to put out the flame!

VeganLinda said...

It was hard moving from the DC area to C-U with the only "Indian" restaurant being Basmati, but we got used to it (we lowered our standards or we would never eat out in this town). We never had an issue with it being too spicy, but this is from people who order food "Thai hot" in Thai places. One of our Indian friends says that they make food spicier the more guests they expect (at parties and things) so they won't eat as much...I'm guessing that is not what Basmati was going for though. My husband much prefers BIG (Bombay Indian Grill), but it feels too fast-foody for me. Maybe when they open at the Basmati location it will feel less fast. I remember when the space used to be Little Italy and the food wasn't great then either, but I went all the time with a friend of mine just because it was quite and I could get spaghettini marinara. Hopefully, it isn't the building and the food will be better.

Meat-free Mike said...

I agree, Linda, I hope it isn't the building and I don't think it is. The space that Basmati occupied is actually very likeable environment, IMO. I also ate at "Little Italy" and really enjoyed their pizza before they closed. Bombay Grill is fair, but they tend to utilize the red/orange "kofta cream sauce" for too many dishes. Unfortunately, Devon St. in Chicagoland is probably the closest satisfactory Indian restaurant venue to C-U. There's an "Indian Bhavan" in Bloomington, IL that is ok. Otherwise, I have many friends here who can REALLY cook GREAT Indian food and consider it a real treat whenever they do! :) C-U!