This week's "try somewhere new" lunch brought me Indian Rasoi, the new Indian restaurant that was formally home to Dancing Ganesha.
I felt a bit skeptical walking into the restaurant, 1692 N. Van Buren St. I was a fan of Dancing Ganesha, enjoying both its food and its lovely décor. The new restaurant boasts a temporary vinyl sign and has been totally repainted in uninspired, but not unpleasant pastel hues.
Gone are the funky murals and artwork, replaced by framed prints I imagine were picked up at a Mumbai dollar store. The music, cranked fairly loud, sounded more like one long cell phone ring tone, not the funky Balliwood music I've come to expect.
Fortunately, the food did most of the talking.
For a mere $8, we enjoyed an excellent, filling and diverse buffet. I loaded up on chicken Tikka Masala, vegetable fritters, Nan, rice and several more chicken and vegetarian dishes. For dessert, I had a few Gulab Jamuns, which are milk and cheese balls, fried and soaked in syrup. Add that to a scoop of mango ice cream and rice pudding, and I left stuffed.
Two more good signs about this new place: not only was it crowded for lunch, half the diners were of Indian descent, which can only be a good indicator of its authenticity. And the servers were attentive and friendly, refilling water, clearing plates and constantly bringing out more food.
I look forward to returning to Indian Rasoi for lunch and dinner. Definitely make this new place a regular stop on your ethnic food circuit.
Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.
Before launching OnMilwaukee.com in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.
Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.