Andrea’s View: I have one question for the owners of Shalimar on Broad Ripple Avenue, do you want people dining inside your restaurant? There are several things that lead me to believe that the answer is, “No!” 1. I understand that this restaurant is located in a very busy strip mall in Broad Ripple, but I don’t understand why you have two front and center parking spots reserved for carry-out only. If you are going to the trouble to put up parking signs for your patrons, why not extend that privilege to all patrons, not just the ones who are darting in and out. 2. The list of rules you have posted on the front page of your menu. These rules are as followed, A) We reserve the right to refuse alcohol to anyone we deem too intoxicated. Ok, just like every other restaurant, it’s the law, others just don’t make a point of telling you up front. B) Rice comes with every entrée, there will be a charge for extra rice. Really, because your rice was harvested by specially trained pigs, (wait, that’s truffles), oh, it’s because the rice is grown on trees so tall, monkeys have to pick it, (wrong again, that’s coffee). No, I don’t know why you would have to charge for more rice. It’s just rice. C) An 18% gratuity will be added to parties of 4 or more. REALLY, 4 or more!!!! Really, a table of 4 strains your staff to the breaking point, that you have to automatically add 18% gratuity to make up for the extra stress. REALLY, 4 people at a table. Wow.
Now, once I got through all the rules, I perused the rest of the menu. Pretty typical menu for Indian food. Our server joylessly took our orders, I ordered the aloo tikki appetizer and the mattar paneer, spiced medium. I’m not even going to go into what these two dishes were, it doesn’t matter. It only matters that my food was not spiced “medium”, it was spiced with about a half a cup of salt, and our joyless server vacuumed around Dave and I the entire time we were eating. Yes, vacuuming. Vacuuming so much, that Dave asked me what time they closed. I replied, “The website said 9:30.” It was only 5:00. The sign on the door confirmed a closing time of 9:30.
They only semi-positve thing I can say about this restaurant is that they are generous with water. The joyless server never let my water-glass drop even an inch. Is it because you know that a deer-sized salt lick was dropped into my dish? You probably thought that all that salt would dry me up like a slug if you weren’t careful. But, then again, why would that matter? Me drying up like a slug would bring you one step closer to Shalimar’s ultimate goal. That would be having absolutely no one eating in their restaurant.
Dave’s View: Finding a parking space at Shalimar restaurant was difficult. Imagine driving around in a circle for ten minutes then throwing a few expletives every time you went by the two empty parking spaces in front of their restaurant. Why would I be cursing at the two empty parking spaces? You may ask yourself, were they handicap parking spaces? No, I don’t curse at handicap parking spaces, I only curse at carry out parking spaces, especially two of them! You would think someone would take a hacksaw to chop down the signs, but don’t worry, it will never happen, because the food here is below average.
We sat down and a middle-aged Indian man comes up and takes our order. I’m sorry, but I’m the classic example of someone butchering foreign words. I asked for the Punjabi Bhaji entrée. He didn’t understand what I said, which is fine with me, and I had to point to the menu. I also did the same thing with my beer. It was a Maharaja beer from India. Again, I had to point to the menu because I knew at that point I butchered the word Maharaja. A few minutes later our drinks came and they set my beer bottle and glass on the table. I pour my beer and I’m about to take the picture of the beer bottle, but they swept it away. Not a big deal, but the label was interesting and I wanted to show you the beer. They must have a bottle recycling facility in India that gives ten cents for every Maharaja bottle received.
Another ten minutes pass by and we get our appetizer, which is fairly cheap until you see what you get. Two silver dollar sizes of Aloo Tikki. Aloo Tikki is potato stuffing dipped in chick pea batter then deep-fried. It was moist and had a mild spicy flavor to it, but it was not special. It came with two dipping sauces and the sauces were better than the actual appetizer itself.
Another ten minutes pass and our entrees come out. I always like the India way of serving dinner, the communal aspect of serving items in silver dishes and sharing with your spouse, family and friends. It is something I wish I would see more in American restaurants. What I don’t wish to see is what happened to me next.
I scoop up some rice and place it on my plate. I take my Punjabi Bhaji and smother my rice. I take a few bites trying to describe what I’m tasting, but I can’t. There is a hairy Indian, middle-aged arm crossing my plate to fill my water-glass that I took one sip from. How close was the arm? Enough that I could tap his arm with my fork. Again, people are human, I don’t think people do things on purpose to irritate one another. Another three minutes go by, and again, here comes the arm to fill my glass, but this time he stops, because it’s full. I have a beer I’m drinking, I don’t need the water for crying out loud! So I’m thinking to myself, change your game plan, move the glass away so he can’t get to it. I move the glass about five inches away. Another five minutes go by, and it happened again. Really? Am I on some television reality show? AM I DYING OF THIRST HERE? What is it with the water-glass filling here? Just leave me alone so I can enjoy my food! I’m not asking that much am I?
So, I’m sorry, the food was below average. I can’t give you any description of the taste of the food because all of was thinking was: Did I just eat some Indian arm hair with a subtle hint of dry skins cells? Probably, but the sauce masked the flavor.
Ambiance: 6 Food: 3 Service: 1 Total: 10 out of 30
$25-$30 with adult beverages.
Note: As we were given our bill, I looked at it to tabulate the tip and I kid you not, the arm appeared again to pour my water, but this was not a middle aged Indian arm, this was a fresh smooth youth looking arm. Hmmm, a new server? Three times an Indian arm cross my line of vision so close I could have licked their arm. So if you have an arm fetish, you’ll love this restaurant!
Another note: I knew there was vacuuming going on, but I couldn’t get the image of “hairy Indian arm” out of my mind.