Parivar Chaat

What’s better than Parivar Chaat (1275 Central Ave, Albany, NY) for lunch with another person? Parivar Chaat for lunch with more people! Because then you can try more of the menu! Parivar Chaat is the back hot bar area of Parivar Food & Spices, next to Grandma’s. It’s basically like the Indian version of the Hong Kong Bakery hot bar at the Asian Supermarket, except better because it’s got tables to sit at. Met up with my usual lunch buddies, Daniel B. and Little Miss Fussy, and also met up with the same new friend I had dim sum with at Ala Shanghai less than a week ago.

As you can tell, we showed our usual amount of restraint in ordering food (none). Got a dosa, which was a bit thicker than I’d have liked in the center, but fairly crispy on the edges. It had some potatoes and peas in the center. I want a never-ending container of the green stuff – so cooling and refreshing (it wasn’t mint chutney) and I want to slather it over everything I put in my mouth. Now.

We also tried out a “Full Meal” ($7.99 – elevated on the left of the pic, hee hee) because, dear goodness, it is way more food than one person needs. Two vegetarian entree choices, a huge plate of rice, two whole wheat parathas, a samosa, and a soup. Oh, and a dessert. I think the parathas are a little on the soggy and dense side. I’d like ’em a little lighter and crisper, but hey, bread carbs are still fine with me. We got an aloo palak type veg entree and… um, another kind of veg entree. I can’t remember, but they were tasty and had plenty of kick to ’em. No Americanizing of flavors or spices here.

We also started out with some awesome dishes. I totally forget what they are too now (Profussor, hopefully you’ll be kind enough to comment and fill us all in), but they’re about $4.99-5.99 and filled with AWESOME! Meaning some yogurt, tamarind sauce, and magic. The ones on the left are puffed discs that are broken on top and filled with sauces and topped with some crunchies (yeah, really helpful, I know). The flavor combo is awesome. The dish on the right are slivers of crunchy dough (like fried pita chips) and delightfully slathered with yogurt, tamarind sauce, crunchy things, and cilantro. Underneath are red onions and chickpeas. SO AWESOME. It’s nice to have on the side of your meals, because it’s kinda sweet-tart and cooling. A nice foil to the kick of some of the main dishes. But, you still have to eat them kind of quick so you can enjoy them when they’re crunchy and not soggy.

We three did about $35 of damage, so about $12 each. You take the receipt and pay at the register up front. Handy if you want to snack and do some shopping, or just order dinner/lunch to-go while grocery shopping – you don’t have to pay in two different places. I barely needed dinner (I still ate it, but… y’know). I think they’ve improved a lot of the lightness of their carb dishes since the last time I went, and I like that they’re adding different specials to their roster as well.

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