Sunday, March 04, 2012
Since we left Florida intermittently we've been craving Indian food. Although we have two places directly across from each other in West Ashley near us we've never pulled the trigger to try either. We sampled the food from Taste of India during the IndiaFest last summer and it was good, we noticed it was significantly higher at the actual restaurant. Being supporters of the hole-in-the-wall eateries we are always on the lookout for something good. Usually what we research and eventually try is decent it's rare we get scared of a place. Things we take into consideration when determining if we plan to patronize a place: Does Yelp, Chowhound to Trip Advisor recommend the place? Does the actual ethnic group the place represent eat there themselves? Is the place crowded or are the parked cars outside part of the staff? Once there how do we critique the place? Of course, most obvious is the food any good? Is the staff helpful, well informed and efficient? How does the interior look? Presentation is everything. Something I learned from working with Paula Deen is the appearance of the bathrooms acceptable? Weird, but very telling. She always said if a place can't keep their bathrooms clean and well stocked what does it tell you about their kitchen? With all that said here is what we found out about a recent visit to North Chuck's Bombay Bazaar Indian Restaurant. After research it seemed clear the food was well received by the locals and well priced. With its lunch buffet you could sample a variety of the places's cooking without blowing the wad. Today it featured some standards expected of Indian cuisine for the general public. Chicken Tikka Masala, curried goat with potatoes, Andoori Chicken, Basmati Rice and the typical assortment of condiments. Overall the food was good. It definitely satisfied by craving for some spicy Indian cuisine. The green chili sauce was tasty and the Tikka Masala and goat was delicious over rice. The Tandoori Chicken was pretty dry and looked like it had been sitting too long. For $8 it wasn't bad. And now the cons. They really gotta clean the place up. Like I said I love the hidden gems scattered about, but damn you have to make sure the place is spotless. Water damaged ceiling tile, dismal lighting and not-so-friendly staff hurt the overall ambience. My inquiries to walk me through the different featured buffet items was forced and not very enlightening. The worst part? The bathrooms. Small black flies competed in grossness with the overpowering smell of urine. No paper towels and filthy tile from 1985 was flat out nasty. This was probably one of the worst restrooms I've ever used (and I've seen some nasty ones). I'm just glad I ate before I went in here. I felt dirtier walking out than walking in. Would I go back? Maybe if I was really craving it. And I would rather take advantage of the $5 to go box instead. Sitting in was pretty depressing.