I think Bombay Street Food is going to do well, but more than that, I hope it’s going to do well. Perched on Park Road, it’s the only Indian game for at least a few blocks, making it stand out in a neighborhood known for having some of the best Filipino, Vietnamese and Laotian spots in the area. The inside is casual but comfortable, with rows of benches and a small bar tucked in the corner, but the real magic is what’s between the menu pages. Culled from owner Asad Sheikh’s memories of growing up in Bombay, the menu is stacked with (you guess it) a cornucopia of street food. From the huge Thali plates to a monsoon based menu, the variety can’t be beat.
And neither can the price. Appetizers start at $5 and peak at $7. Entrees start at $8 and top out at $18. The most expensive thing on the menu is the Thali for two, which will set you back $35. For two people, our meal cost about $36 and we both took home decently sized leftovers. To be fair, neither of us drank, but you can get a house wine for $6 or down a Blue Moon for $5. Craft brews like DC Brau and 3 Stars will cost you $6, but I’ve certainly paid more for beers from both of those breweries in this city. Sometimes it feels like D.C. is trying to nickel and dime you at every turn, which makes restaurants like these even more important.
Of course, the price would be meaningless of the food was bad. While we wouldn’t rave about everything we had at Bombay Street Food, there were more than a few highlights. We kicked the meal off by splitting an order of the spicy chicken masala from the monsoon section of the menu, which is served with a glass of cutting chai. The chicken packed a decent punch and is a great snack to share (especially if you end up indulging in one of those beers).
The appetizer section is where you really want to go wild. We were especially impressed with the Keema Pav, which included hunks of toasted bread served alongside a fragrant bowl of minced lamb and chicken. We covered everything in that mince, from the bread it was served with, to garlic naan to basmati rice. We couldn’t stop eating it.
The Vada Pav was more of a sleeper hit. Served like a kind of veggie burger, the spice potato patty was sandwiched between two slices of thick, toasted bread and served alongside an addicting cilantro chutney. Once we dunked our little sandwiches in the chutney, everything made sense. The bright edge brought out the spice in the potato patty, so again, we put that chutney on everything. If we were alone, we probably would have drank it.
The next time you’re in the area, stop by. If we want more casual, more reasonable restaurants like this in D.C., we have to make sure they do well. We have to make sure they stay here.
Bombay Street Food is located at 1413 Park Rd NW and opens today, November 30.