Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Vik's Chaat Corner

Michael Bauer just released his Top 100 Bay Area restaurants this past weekend, and lo and behold, I ate at 41 of these restaurants already! What I love about this list though, is that it encompasses not only Michelin star restaurants, but places where you can get a good meal for $5 too.

On a recent trip to visit my friends Steph and Kenneth, Steph suggested that we check out Vik's Chaat Corner in Berkeley. When I mentioned this in passing to my foodie coworker, she got really excited. "VIIIIKKKK'S!!!!" she nearly screamed, and started naming off the menu items to me.

I had no idea what to expect. Sure I like Indian food, but I like my naan 'n curry, and Vik's menu only had chaat (Indian snacks) which I wasn't so sure I'd like.

Going to Vik's is an experience. The "restaurant" is really a large warehouse, with a counter where you order food and some picnic-like tables to eat at. My friends and I ordered a variety of food--I had a Lamb Baida Roti and my husband (who insisted on being "Vijay" for the meal) ordered a Masala Dosa and Pani Puri.

My husband (who is Chinese, but might as well be Indian due to the heavy influence of his coworkers) taught me how to eat the puri. Apparently, there is a procedure to it. First, you take a "puff" and tap a little hole into it. Next, you put in some garbanzo beans and potatoes, then some tamarind sauce, and finally finish it with some spicy mint water. Then you just pop the whole thing into your mouth! If I didn't know any better, I'd have eaten everything separately.

It was absolutely delicious, and fun to eat. I much preferred it to my lamb roti, which was good but a bit on the oily side and my stomach wasn't feeling so keen on that day. The masala dosa was good as well, and I would highly recommend it.

I'll definitely be back. Who said good eats and cheap eats can't go together?


JudyEll said...

now i wanna goooo!!! that looks good! a puri looks fun to eat. :)

tigerfish said...

Yes, good and cheap eats can go together! I have not tried this one in the Bay Area but there are so many good indian eateries I miss in the Bay Area. Our fav is Turmeric Restaurant in Sunnyvale :)

KayKat said...

Mmm ... wish there was a chaat joint in seattle, can't wait to check this place out!

Neha said...

oh my gosh! my mom's pani puri's the best you will have everrrrr had. i'm not even kidding. better than any indian restaurant i've been to. (and you can just begin to imagine how many that is...)

-judy's friend, neha

Kenneth said...

Nice! I just saw this yummy post. =]