Indian Hoarders

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Dave’s View:  What do you get when you have a 85% grocery store combined with a 15% restaurant?  You have Bombay Bazaar in Fishers, Indiana.  When you first walk into this place, you don’t know where you’re going because the grocery section part is everywhere.(I’ll get to the “everywhere” part here in a moment.)  The restaurant part is located at the front at the checkout counter.  Behind the counter is the listing of foods that they serve.  Now, Andrea and I were walking around for a couple of minutes trying to find the “restaurant” part, until Andrea had the guts enough to talk to one of the people standing behind the counter.  It was an Indian couple.  The man, stares at us with the, “What are you two doing here?” look and answers our questions, but it was the woman who was very polite and forthcoming about the food.  I decided to try the Chicken Kadahi and the couple told us it would be ready in a few minutes.

While Andrea and I waited, we walked around inside the grocery store.  There is one word to describe this place:   “Hoarders.”  Okay, two words:  “Indian Hoarders.”   When I mean hoarder, I mean , nothing gets thrown out. The place definitely needs to take a class in merchandising 101.  It needs to be faced, straightened, and cleaned.  Boxes, cans, you name it, are piled high on top of each other.  If you plan on buying anything in the grocery section, make sure it’s fresh and up-to-date.  The owner needs to throw out a lot of product that has been sitting there for years and take a “hit” on it. This place would probably bring in a lot of money, if it was cleaned up drastically.

Now our food has arrived at the front counter and I’m assuming they don’t want us to eat it there because it’s in take out bags.  They do have two tables off to one side of the store to eat, I think???  It’s two tables adorned with circa 1983 vinyl IU tables cloths surrounded by 6,179 Indian CDs.  Yes, I did count all the CDs and no, I don’t think they’re all Indian either.  I wanted to take a picture, but I didn’t have the audacity.  It would have been a fun place to eat, trust me!  So since our food was bagged up, we headed home to eat.

Now, I was forewarned by the woman that  the Chicken Kadahi was spicy and it had bones.  The spice is hot, but is palatable.  The meat on the chicken was incredibly tender and wonderful, but watch out for the bones.  The bones in this dish are extremely hard to navigate to get the meat out and when they say bones, they mean any bone of the chicken.  Spine, joints, you name it, it will be in here.  Overall, I believe this is the most authentic Indian meal I’ve ever had.  If I was invited to dinner by an Indian family in India,  this is probably what it would taste like.  Authentic, real, and honest.  The only thing is, the grocery store part will put you into a great depression and kind of dampen your meal.

Service:  7  Food:  8  Ambiance:  6  Total:  21 out of 30

$20-$25 without adult beverages.  They do not serve adult beverages.

Chicken Kadahi

Chicken Kadahi

Goat Paya

Goat Paya

The spread

The spread

The outside

The outside

Andrea’s View:  I had heard whisperings through the foodie network that Bombay Bazaar (an Indian grocery store) in Fishers also had a kitchen that served food to go.  So one Tuesday afternoon, on whim and a hunch, Dave and I drove over there.  When we entered it looked like any other ethnic grocery store I had ever been to.  We made a lap around the place looking for this “kitchen” that served lunch.  I finally asked a male employee where I could order food.  Not to be stereotypical, but he was the type of male who did not feel the need to acknowledge or even be nice to females.  He answered me gruffly that one could place a food order at the check-out counter.  Dave and I looked over the white board menu that had no description of the dishes (only Indians are supposed to enter this establishment apparently) and I order the goat paya.  The only reason I ordered this dish is because I love goat.  As Dave is ordering, with direction from the misogynistic employee, a female employee spoke up and tried to save the day.  She explained to me what I had ordered and asked if I really wanted that dish for lunch.  Not wanting to look foolish, I said, “Yes, that sounds good.”  It didn’t sound good, she described a goat bone soup that was spicy and sticky.  But I was committed.  Yeah.

As Dave and I are waiting for our food, we strolled around the store.  I cook quite a bit, and I am always in need of exotic ingredients.  Only I begin to notice that this store is down-right filthy.  Not in a “run-down, not updated, we only care about the food, kind of way” (Patties of Jamaica, and Casa Maria), but in a “we don’t care and are too lazy to clean the store kind of way”.  Dust and cobwebs were everywhere, and if you do decide to purchase something from Bombay Bazaar, check the expiration date.

We finally received our food and immediately decided to take it to our clean home to eat it.  The food looked okay, and neither one of got sick from it.  My soup however was way too spicy for most humans to consume, I think I coughed up a lung after eating just one-quarter of it.  Dave’s dish was tasty.  The rice and naan where good.   But I can’t keep  thinking about the dirtiness in which it was prepared.  I won’t be back.  Not even to purchase red lentils and saffron.

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