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#1 ExtraMSG

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 01:35 PM

Noticed this green truck with a "NOW OPEN" sign in the same lot as India Chaat House. Haven't checked out the menu yet or tried the food. Interesting they'd open up right next to the other.

Bombay Chaat House
SW 12th & Yamhill
Portland, OR 97205
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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#2 jdsconed

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 01:34 PM

I went to India Chaat House last week and inquired about that cart. Yowza, it was interesting.

I previously posted this on facebook...

Mr. India Chaat House told me his crazy ex wife and her family were trying to open up a competing cart, and were threatening him. The new cart was (not active) but literally next door - Bombay Chaat House. He doesn't know if it will be all-veg, and is really, understandably, bothered by it. I think they may have unveiled it while he was away in India recently.
yeah, I'm vegan.

#3 ExtraMSG

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 02:00 PM

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned ... or like a fiery vindaloo on an empty stomach.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole & Kenny & Zuke's

#4 Calabrese

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 05:41 AM

This all sounds like a lot of speculation with no facts.

To quote George Eliot: "Blessed is the man who, having nothing to stay, abstains from giving us worthy evidence of the fact."

#5 superdog

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 01:42 PM

Remember the movie "War of the Roses" in the 80s?


We now have "War of the Chaat Houses"!
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#6 Magpie

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 07:48 AM

Does anyone know if the original Chaat house changed hands? My SO went yesterday and got a Mutter Paneer that was different (we both though not as creamy or as good as before) than we had gotten in the past. She also said that it seemed like different people were working. We don't get down more than once a month so it might just be the normal variations in crew and the food could just be a fluke or a change to the recipe. Do any of the normal downtown lunch cart grazers have better info?

#7 ExtraMSG

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 11:42 AM

Well, there's the split in ownership and I believe, at least at one time, they owned a restaurant in Salem and may split time with that.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole & Kenny & Zuke's

#8 ceilingcat

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 06:30 PM

I just finished some yummy chaat from Bombay. While i was there i got the scoop from the guy who worked there... Apparently, this guy's mom and dad used to own India Chaat House. Then his parent's recently divorced, his dad sold the India Chaat house to a Pakistanian fellow, and his mom opened up Bombay Chaat house. So yes, new owners at India Chaat.

#9 Plump_and_Juicy

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 03:28 PM

I just finished some yummy chaat from Bombay. While i was there i got the scoop from the guy who worked there... Apparently, this guy's mom and dad used to own India Chaat House. Then his parent's recently divorced, his dad sold the India Chaat house to a Pakistanian fellow, and his mom opened up Bombay Chaat house. So yes, new owners at India Chaat.


Welcome to Portland Food, ceilingcat. I have one of you in my home, inconspicuously lurking high in a corner.

#10 jdsconed

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 03:08 PM

for sake of time, let me repost what I said on the post punk kitchen forums a couple weeks ago:



The week before last I went to the under-new-management India Chaat House and had a decent meal - the standard dishes on the Big Big Big Lunch Special.
Just not a ton of flavor throughout the lunch special, and there was a new type of rice. The naan was huge but more pita-like than naan, I'd never encountered that before there.

After hearing good things, I visited the new Bombay Chaat House for lunch today. The lunch special is cheaper ($5 vs. $5.50) and I recognized the friendly young guy serving the food from the original ICH. One of the lunch options had to be subbed for a vegan version. To get to the point, it was way better than my recent meal at ICH and the Aloo Channa was the best I've had in years. There was so much flavor in the lunch special, and I usually depend on my hot sauce.

I won't rule out trying ICH again but I think I'm a convert to BCC.

Both carts now provide small cups of free chai to people waiting for their food.
yeah, I'm vegan.

#11 ExtraMSG

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 11:36 PM

Thought I was going to have to run some errands, but it turned out there was no need, so I actually had time for lunch. Was driving towards the deli and remembered that I'd been meaning to do a showdown between India Chaat House and Bombay Chaat House next door. Found a parking spot right in front and headed over.

Attached File  bombay_chaat.jpg   80.35K   5 downloads

Was going to go to ICH first as a baseline, but the line proved slow-moving and annoying, so I decided to hit BCH, which didn't have anyone waiting at the time and come back. Checked both menus to make sure I got items at each that were the same. But both menus are very similar, so it wasn't a problem. The bigger problem came from the annoying fur protestors across the street yelling into their megaphones slogans they were reading off cue cards, sometimes chasing down pedestrians who said they disagreed with the protestors' cause. I could barely hear the lady in the cart as I tried to order. I was going to get aloo gobi, a personal favorite, but after three attempts to discern what she was saying over the din of dumbasses and through her accent, I finally figured out there was no more for the day. Instead, ordered: samosa chaat, traditionally my favorite item at ICH, channa bhature, a good standard to see how they do the breads, and palak paneer, something that tends to get screwed up a lot.

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The dish came filling a small clamshell, almost more like soup. But you could distinctly see the the tamarind and cilantro chutneys, plus the yogurt, studded with chopped red onion and channa dal. Not the best picture. I was hoping to show that the samosa still held their form, so it's lifted up with the fork. Despite the soupiness, the samosa was still crisp in the liquid with a pleasant texture and flavor. The whole dish was really well balanced between sweet, tangy, spicy, and sour. Then the three textures: creamy yogurt, crisp samosa, tender and almost pasty channa. Good stuff. Exactly as I remember India Chaat House's samosa chaat.

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The channa bhature was also nice. The bread was slightly crisp on the outside, bubbly, and flaky. The channa were cooked perfectly, surrounded by a somewhat creamy sauce, with a decent depth. A drizzle of tamarind chutney on top gave it some brightness to balance out the earthy dal.

Attached File  bombay_palak_paneer.jpg   84.72K   2 downloads

The palak paneer was decent. The paneer was cooked nicely. You can see above that there's a little bit of a crust on it and the texture was firm and nice to eat. The rice was a little mushy and bland, but fine. You could see little pieces of distinct vegetables within the creamy curry. It wasn't "fresh" tasting as some creamed greens curries somehow manage, but it was enjoyable.

Attached File  india_chaat.jpg   80.5K   2 downloads

I was really pleased with BCH. After that, I was expecting a comparable meal at ICH and to come away saying that it was a matter of who had the shorter line, finding some dishes the two differ on, or price. I couldn't have been more wrong. The two were like night and day. I ordered the same three dishes at ICH.

Attached File  india_samosa_chaat.jpg   75.9K   3 downloads

The samosa chaat both looked and tasted like a mess. It was all out of whack. It was really salty and there was some off-flavor. However, the dish was so muddled I couldn't pick out the source. This tasted so bad to me, I had to stop eating it, because it was literally upsetting my stomach. I threw it out.

Attached File  india_channa_bhature.jpg   89.37K   3 downloads
The bread for the channa bhature was like a greasy elephant ear. Even one bite was leaden in the stomach. Just awful bread. The channa masala was fine. It could have used the tamarind chutney BCH used, but the channa dal was cooked nicely and it was creamy and nicely flavored.

Attached File  india_palak_paneer.jpg   72.09K   2 downloads

The rice from BCH was just mediocre. The stuff at ICH was bad. The grains looked more minute-ricey, and not even basmati minute rice. They had that "chopped" look to them. But they were also cooked so poorly they mashed into a kind of dough. While BCH's were fragrant, but bland. These were just plain insipid -- unseasoned white, mushy rice. Blech. The curry on top was just green mush, nothing distinguishible. On top of that, it tasted like the vegetables may have been burnt a little, like too little water was used and some got crusted to the pan, but made it into the curry anyway. It was this off, darkly bitter flavor, not like bitter greens, but like burnt bitter greens. I need a cookie just to get the imagined taste out of my mouth as I write this.

Making things worse, they took forever and the anti-fur freedom fighters across the street were yelling so loud I had to put my hands on my ears a couple times. A little kid eating with his family in the booth across from me did the same. Then ran to the edge of the booth and yelled at the yelling protestors to "please be quite now!" I agreed. Ironically, they're probably scaring away customers from two vegan restaurants. I know two office ladies came down, got some chai, and left, one apologizing to the other for putting her through the agony.

Maybe this was a fluke, though other experiences seem to be in agreement. Maybe I picked the wrong three items. But if this experience was the norm, I'd have to say India Chaat House needs to be dropped from all guides and recommendations and Bombay Chaat House needs to take its place. I saw no evidence the ICH people know the first thing about making good food. However, the food at BCH was as good as I remember ICH ever being.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole & Kenny & Zuke's

#12 Psmithwainscotting

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 12:16 AM

Are there any carts that do a good Aloo Tikki Choley?

#13 jdsconed

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 01:58 PM

I'm even more officially a bombay chaat house convert now. <3
yeah, I'm vegan.

#14 Angelhair

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 11:18 AM

The Oregonian has picked up the story:

As soon as the divorce became final last fall, Singh flew back to India to wed another woman in an arranged marriage, according to court records. Upon returning to his cart, he discovered that Kaur had opened her own, the Bombay Chaat House - right next door.

In court filings, Singh claims Kaur, 45, moved in to spite him. She says she returned after an outpouring of requests from former customers.

"They wanted me back. They missed my food," says Kaur, a slim, small woman with orange spices staining her forearms and graying hair tucked under a floral-print scarf. "This was a good location for us."


http://www.oregonliv...of_times_t.html

#15 ExtraMSG

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 11:04 AM

WW updates the feud:

http://www.wweek.com...ial/3535/12777/

Daljit Singh was surprised. Shortly after his return in February, he and Avtar filed restraining orders against each other. “I decided that I would just sell my business and move away,” Singh said in court filings. He sold the India Chaat House for $40,000 to Mike Cheema, a 58-year-old entrepreneur from the Pakistani side of the divided province of Punjab.

Cheema says he had no clue he was stepping into a family feud. “He sold me on a false pretense,” he says. “If I knew about the cart next door, I wouldn’t have bought it. Two Indian carts next to each other, that’s asking for trouble.”


Um, dude, you spent $40k on a chaat truck. Do your research.

I feel bad for the guy, even though his food sucks. Unfortunately, the author of the article says that both serve excellent food, which is false, and might lead people to go to ICH to give him support and come away thinking that both actually suck.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole & Kenny & Zuke's

#16 kalopsia

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 06:05 PM

I believe ICH's Cheema also co-owns the pathetic India House on SW Morrison. These both carts suck donkey balls (I miss Daljit's food..) The only semi-acceptable Indian cart downtown is Real Taste of India.

#17 Victual Learner

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 04:47 PM

Interesting. I just went to the BCH on Saturday and ordered the $5 house special, and was rather disappointed. It was a giant plastic dish of over-salted sauces, plus a day's worth of greasy, unleavened white bread. Two of the sauces hardly even contained much solid food; a lone ball of falafel sat in one section. Even the lentils were more scarce than I expected.

Fortunately, I was deliriously hungry and can't say I didn't enjoy it immensely, but I don't think I would return under normal circumstances. Sorry I can't comment more completely on my experience, as I'm not exactly an Indian food connoisseur, it just seemed like all of it could've come out of a jar (except the bread, that would be weird).

Is it supposed to be like that? Did I just order the wrong thing?
Seeing is deceiving. It's eating that's believing.
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