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Nestled between sari shops and South Asian grocery stores on Hillcroft, this popular spot offers fresh and fiery-hot vegetarian fare in the tradition of South India. Shri Balaji Bhavan's inexpensive menu, sparkling tile floors and thumping Bombay pop draw a diverse crowd of Indian foodies. The popular Madras thali includes seven stainless-steel cups filled with an assortment of dishes flavored with tamarind, coconut and walloping peppers. Other favorites include the dal fry, dosas and chaats. The handmade breads are excellent.
As we enter the new year, I'm trying to make good on a few resolutions starting on the very first day of 2013. And one of those is to get outside the Loop a bit more -- even though a great bounty of a... More »
Two weeks ago, we started talking to chefs about where they eat during their time off. You can read what they said here and here. Today, we continue our Where the Chefs Eat series with a female pers... More »
If you think the name is long, try the line. The queue at the counter of Shri Balaji Bhavan Pure Vegetarian Restaurant often includes children in sequined outfits from the fabric store next door, utility repairmen in jumpsuits, businessmen in... More »
Shri Balaji Bhavan's sparse atmosphere and counter service don't dissuade Houstonians in search of delicious and authentic Udipi-style cuisine. The place is always packed with people sitting at feast-laden tables. Prices are so reasonable here, you can generously feed a family of four for around $50. It's so delicious that even meat lovers don't mind that the place is strictly vegetarian. The dosas, with their thin, platter-size crepes and savory stuffing, are not to be missed. Shri Balaji... More »
Like most restaurants in Little India -- the section of town that straddles Hillcroft where it meets Highway 59 -- Shri Balaji Bhavan is a hole in the wall, and it's enticingly inexpensive. But what sets Shri Balaji Bhavan apart from all its neighbors are two things: spice and authenticity. In the great eternal debate over which is more important -- how good food tastes versus how bona fide it is -- Shri Balaji Bhavan wins on both fronts. The supremely authentic cuisine... More »
Shri Balaji Bhavan serves up some excellent Southern Indian comfort food that has not been dumbed down for the masses. The staff is friendly and willing to help navigate the menu, if you're not familiar with Indian food. Thali, or sampler platters of sorts, are a great way to try a number of things if you can't commit. There is also an impressive list of chaat -- the bhel puri is addictive -- and rice flour or lentil dosas that will make you return regularly to this unassuming... More »
Bang doesn't really do it justice. It's more like kaboom! An explosion of sambar masala piquancy attracts crowds to Balaji Bhavan faster than moths to a blaze. Devotees of a good chole (chick peas in tomato sauce), rasam (a thin soup with tamarind) and rava masala dhosa (a crepe stuffed with seasoned tomatoes and onions) will find the heat complemented with a full bouquet of spices, usually for less than the price of an Extra Value Meal at McDonald's. Almost everything on the menu at this... More »
Shri Balaji Bhavan serves up some excellent Southern Indian comfort food that has not been dumbed down for the masses. The staff is friendly and willing to help navigate the menu, if you're not familiar with Indian food. Thali, or sampler platters of sorts, are a great way to try a number of things if you can't commit. There is also an impressive list of chaat — the bhel puri is addictive — and rice flour or lentil dosas that will make you return regularly to this unassuming vegetarian gold mine. Almost everything has a healthy amount of spice to it, so you'll want to get a lassi or some chai to go along with the meal.
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