India Chaat Cafe
984 Miamisberg Centerville Road
Washington Twp. OH 45459
South Dayton has a lot of different kinds of ethnic food, if you know where to look. While it doesn’t make a big footprint, India Chaat Cafe has plenty of options for good Indian food. Set up in 2006 primarily as a carry-out spot, it has attained a significant following, both with the Indian-American community in southwest Ohio, and with those many people curious about a new style of food. This spot makes food fast and does a pretty decent job of it.
The menu is very approachable, while most all of the dishes are Indian and often not familiar to the Midwestern audience, the online menu explains a little about what each dish is–background that is helpful beyond just listing ingredients. Some of the things worth trying:
- Masala dosa: This Indian dish features a large thin crepe-like roll filled with meat cooked in curry and spices, then served with a lentil soup. A lunch option still very filling.
- Curry chicken: This chicken curry option is a very popular Indian dish, and it’s good when it’s hot. It’s good with rice, but that rice is a bit on the dry side. Let it soak up some of that great tomato-based sauce.
- Chicken tikka masala: A classically popular dish thanks to the introduction of Indian food to Europe, Chicken Tikka Masala is a good first thing to try. At this restaurant, it’s good when it’s spicy. And spice levels here are a bit higher than what is offered elsewhere. Still good.
- Samosa: A heavy fried dumpling-like appetizer, these are thick and very heavy, best when shared. The curry-filled inside is great. Watch out, it will be hot!
- Masala chai: A spiced tea option, this tea is served extra steamy and good for a cold day.
Price points are pretty good, as are the speeds that food comes for dine-in or carry-out. But if you plan to dine in, it can be less friendly. The restaurant features a walk-up counter where menus can be found, which makes it hard to consider orders before you get to the front of the line. When you sit to eat, the cramped space can be a bit crowded. And the small staff at times struggles to keep the silverware and water stocked. Sometimes during rush it takes some time to clean tables off too. But keep in mind- this spot was designed as a carry-out for its size. So it’s working on limited resources.
All told, though, the food wins out as a big plus that makes India Chaat a successful little dive. Its following is well deserved.
- India Chaat is best for take-out, so it’s perfect to take food to-go.
- Lunch specials promise huge amounts of food for cheap. If you want to try Indian food, that’s the best time.
- When dining in, avoid rush hours, as the limited space quickly fills up.