All Abroad!

Bring an adventurous palate to these great spots, and your inner cheapskate will thank you

Gokul's naan and basmati rice -- staples not just of the menu and buffet, but of Indian food in general -- are fantastic. The naan tastes, surprisingly and happily, like pizza crust: chewy and moist, almost to the point of being doughy, and simultaneously salty and sweet. The basmati rice, sticks of cinnamon jutting out of it like tree trunks, is perfectly soft and loose, studded with lovely, plump green peas. The menu is strictly meatless. (There's a sticker on the counter that reads, "Be kind to animals. Don't eat them.") Perhaps the highest compliment that can be paid here is that everything is so flavorful and hearty -- korma made with nine kinds of vegetables, crisp pakora (fried morsels of spinach and ground chickpeas), three dishes made with the tofu-like cheese paneer -- that the most diehard carnivore will be hard-pressed to miss the meat.

As at Soy Café, the contents of Gokul's refrigerator case prove most foreign. You wouldn't know it by all the spicy purées that comprise most Indian entrées, but traditional Indian fare includes loads of finger foods (often sold from streetside carts) and tons of sweets. Gokul's house-made mango ice cream, above all, is delectable: creamy like gelato, with a vibrant orange color and strong citrus taste.

The joy of tofu: St. Louis Soy Products Café is a primo 
place for vegans and vegetarians.
Becca Young
The joy of tofu: St. Louis Soy Products Café is a primo place for vegans and vegetarians.

Location Info


Frank & Helen's Pizzeria

8111 Olive Blvd.
University City, MO 63130

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Olive Boulevard

Gokul Snacks & Sweets

10633-B Page Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63132

Category: Restaurant > Indian

Region: Olivette/ Overland


Dim sum items 55 cents to $2.49
Tofu dishes $1.20 to $2.10

314-239-1430. Hours: 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.- 7 p.m. Sat.-Sun.

Gokul Snacks and Sweets
Lunch buffet $6.99
Tiffin $5.99

314-428-8888. Hours: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Mon., 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. Tue.-Sun.

St. Louis Soy Products Café: 8019 Olive Boulevard, University City
Gokul Snacks and Sweets: 10633-B Page Avenue, Overland

To enjoy either of these restaurants, an adventurous palate helps -- but truly, the food is not as peculiar as you might think. If anything, the exploration happens not when eating something unfamiliar for the first time, but when driving somewhere that may not look at first sight like a worthwhile dining destination.

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