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A different kind of fusion cuisine: This tiny storefront offers Pakistani dishes as well as American fast - or fast-casual, if you prefer - food. The Pakistani dishes include richly seasoned chicken biryani, beef kabobs and chicken in an aggressively spicy karahi sauce. The American side of the menu offers burgers and pizza with all the usual toppings. The can't-miss dish is the "broasted" chicken. This is chicken deep-fried in a pressure cooker, essentially, and the results are sensational. The breading is thin, crisp and not overly greasy, while the meat is wonderfully flavorful and spicy.
At Everest you'll find a mix of exotic Nepalese, Korean and Indian dishes prepared with only fresh, healthy ingredients hand-selected by chef Dr. Devi States. The menu is veg friendly and chock-full of organic vegetables: This is very much a health-conscious place, which means no processed foods or butter or heavy creams. Choose from the simple pleasures of mo-mos (steamed pork dumplings from Tibet) to the complex interplays of meat, vegetables and spices that fill daal, bhat, tarkari ra saag (a complete Nepalese meal: rice, meat, vegetables, pickled mango, a lemon wedge and a slice of cucumber). Everest also offers a lunch buffet every day but Monday, and with food this healthy, there's no reason not go back through for a second helping.
Flavor of India doesn't veer far from the standard Indian restaurant formula. But that's no complaint. The daily lunch buffet is an excellent value and offers favorites (tandoori chicken, saag paneer) and unusual dishes (goat curry on one visit). Aficionados of Indian cuisine will want to stop in for dinner, though, when Flavor of India offers a wide array of classic Indian dishes along with its stock-in-trade, the milder cuisine of north India (such as kormas rich with nuts and raisins).
Gokul Snacks & Sweets is an all-vegetarian and vegan-friendly Indian restaurant located in Overland. It's the flagship location, with a second Gokul located in the Delmar Loop.
Looking for companionship at lunch? Try these magic words: "Anybody wanna go to House of India?" Within seconds you'll be surrounded by friends and coworkers, all of them near-crazed at the thought of H of I's awesome $6.95 lunch buffet: the piles of chewy, fluffy naan! The fragrant pilau topped with vegetable korma or spicy chicken tikka masala! The veggie samosas, so crunchy-perfect; the smoky, falling-off-the-bone-tender tandoori chicken. The cups of cardamom-kissed chai, the soft bhangra music, the super-helpful (but never intrusive) service. Dinner's great, too.
A welcome change from the standard Indian-restaurant template: This sleek, colorful spot serves up clever modern takes on the timeless cuisine. An Anaheim pepper stuffed with shrimp in a coconut sauce? It's a "Bollywood Popper"! Elsewhere on the menu, the influence of Indian cuisine on Great Britain gets a nod in spicy "Calcutta Fish and Chips." Tandoori-oven offerings are classed up with the spicy, complex and exceptionally tender masadelar lamb chops, and game hen over rice pilau resembles something from a New American bistro. Too far from the familiar? Many of your favorite traditional Indian dishes are also available, both à la carte and as part of the daily lunch buffet.
CLOSED It's a family affair. Owner Zahid Khan and his son Zack work the front of his house, while Khan's wife, Shaheena, and daughter, Nazish, do the cooking. The Khans are originall from Karachi, Pakistan, so be sure to try the nahiri, one of Pakistan's most beloved dishes. It begins with a powerful burst of ginger, lime and cilantro, follows savory meat (beef or lamb), and then finishes with the subtle balance of spice for which the cuisines of Pakistan and India are known. Casual fans of these cuisines will recognize the rest of the menu - naan and tandoori chicken, saag paneer and samosas - all of them well prepared.
You might be tempted to call Pita Plus one of St. Louis' best-kept secrets - until you see the crowds thronging the tiny storefront at lunchtime. You'll still trumpet it as one heckuva value. The gyros are plump with shaved meat and utterly fantastic, the falafel - crisp outside and moist within - could convert the most savage of carnivores to the glories of the chickpea, and the baba gannoujh might be the best in town. Best of all, you and your dining mates can exit Pita Plus completely sated without spending more than $10 apiece.
Raj's Rasoi serves up authentic Indian cuisine in Maryland Heights. Aside from serving up a $6.99 lunch buffet and a full dinner menu, Raj's caters and rents out its spacious banquet hall for special events.
Saffron might not differ much from the standard Indian-restaurant template, but it still affords all the pleasures of a complex cuisine prepared well. Standout dishes include the chef's "signature" biryani: lamb, chicken and vegetables with saffron rice and a blend of spices both comfortingly familiar and alluringly exotic. The kitchen handles lamb very well, whether subtle (lamb rogan josh) or fiery (lamb vindaloo). Vegetarian dishes include creamy palak paneer (spinach with homemade cheese) and a mash of roasted eggplant known as baingan bhartha. The lunch buffet lets you sample more than a few classic Indian dishes, and -- a nice touch -- each table receives its own serving of freshly baked naan.
Spice-n-Grill is a tiny, takeout-focused (there are a few tables for dining in) Indian and Pakistani restaurant with a menu that makes up in quality and value what it might lack in breadth. Popular favorites like chicken tikka masala, chana masala and saga paneer impress, but those who crave bold flavors should go for the lamb or goat dishes, such as spicy, tomato-based goat karahi. The standout dish is beef (or lamb) nihari, a complex, brightly flavored stew unlike any you’ve ever eaten.
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