India is hot right now. The music, the cinema, and the food. But you didn’t have to tell me this. You see when I first came from Ohio , I just happened to be hired as a waitress in one of these quaint restaurants that line Devon Avenue on the Northwest side. It was a different environment than I was used to in small town America. The sights were more colorful and the smells intoxicating. In fact, the nice lady took me in and gave the waif a hot cup to protect her from the cold, Chicago winds. Now with my friends hosting a Bollywood Blowout on November 15, I thought it would be a good time to revisit the place where I began life as a Chicagoan. Plus I was craving some chili chicken.
Chopal Kabob amd Steak is located on Devon Aveue. It is known as little India. People come from all over the city to taste lip smacking Indian and Panistani food, buy colorful fabrics and jewelery, and take home luscious sweets. When you enter the little bistro, the tables and furniture help to transport the diner on the incredible journey they will take. They are not dark and dank, but colorful and music puts the customer in a restful and peaceful mood for the experience.
Led to the table, the waitress brings you a cup of chai, not coffee or tea, , but a calming beverage. The cup brings back such pleasant memories as it welcomes me back to the place where it all began. After the chai, we want something that is refreshing . In this culture that means a delicious lassi. Lassis are usually made with fruit juice and yogurt. They can either be salty or sweet. We chose the sweet with mango and weren’t disappointed . The drinks were brought to us in a cute , little painted jar.
Now one of the features of this cuisine is the spices. Spices can either be savory or hot . Jen was a little apprehensive so she chose a plainer chicken dish. I had to have my chili chicken. The entre has a special meaning for me. It was the first dish that I had when I first walked into this quaint little bistro almost seven years ago. The chicken has the spice and temperature that mixes well with the curry sauces. All dishes are accompanied with rice, letttuce, and tomatoes. Not spicy enough , no problem . Chopal has the hottest curries right on the table for you to use. I always choose the yogurt sauce to put on mine to neutralize it. One of the staples of Indian culture is naan, and it is made fresh in the kitchen . Each piece of naan come out toasty and delcious. The portions are huge, so be prepared to have some for lunch the next day. Our meal ended with a dish of kheer. Kheer kind of reminds one of cream of wheat, but sweeter. It is usually how owner Ali thanks his customers for coming to his restaurant. He thinks of everyone as family. I know whenever I come in there, I am always welcomed warmly.
Chopal Kabob and Steak is located at 2240 W Devon Avenue . The food is fresh and delicious and it won’t break your wallet. You will love this little place and Ali will take care of you personally .