A friend introduced me to this random hole in the wall place. It was lunch time when we arrived and it was quiet, except for a few taxi cab drivers walking in and out with their orders. But their food! It was great and priced reasonably. Since then, I eat at Baba Palace whenever I’m in the area. And this documented meal was one of those times.
Upon entering, you see a huge menu with a variety of meals offered every day.
Drinks, Desserts, Extra, Side Orders!
When you step in, the lighting is dim and the decor is sparse. A television sits in the corner, televising news. I’ve read yelp reviews saying that the place looks like a third world country, but it’s not that bad. The tables are clean and the place is spacious.
On the counter, you can see a bunch of dishes, up close and personal. This is very handy when you have no idea what you want, but you see a dish that looks appetizing and you want to order it. Pointing at dishes and ordering works well here.
I am also inclined to think that the plates laid out are the actual dishes.
And then I saw this sign:
$5 meal before 10:30am?! With tea! Any of those plates??! I am happy. My wallet is happy. My stomach is jumping for joy.
And here’s my small styrofoam cup of tea. Milk tea? I’m not sure, but there’s sugar at the end of the counter if you’re so inclined.
After you order, you can pick up some condiments at the ends of the counter. Among them include yogurt and raw white onions.
If I recall correctly, I ordered mutton biriyani (basmati rice cooked with herbs and spices + lamb). I saw it on the counter top display and had to get it. When you add the white onions and yogurt to the biriyani, it becomes a tangy combination. I love white onions and yogurt sauce so I liberally added them to my dish. The mutton was tender and the rice flavorful.
My dining companion ordered the palak gosht, a dish with spinach and mutton cooked with spices. If I recall correctly, the dish came with naan. The naan was warm and soft, great for tearing and dipping into the palak gosht. The spinach had practically melted into the meal while the mutton was cooked, bone-in.
A closer look at the dish. While I took this photo, my dining companion remarked, “It looks like poo.” Then they tasted the palak gosht. “But it’s delicious.” Face – Palm.
A dessert was in store. I ordered kheer, Indian rice pudding.
This was topped with almonds, ground up and in whole pieces.
This time around, the kheer wasn’t as good as before. It wasn’t as soft and was more firm; the flavors more muted. Perhaps I came too early to get a fresh batch. But no matter. I will come around again and feast once more, despite the yelp haters.
334 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60610