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Gaylord India Restaurant

View Map100 E. Walton St., Chicago
Tel: (312) 664-1700
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Editorial Review of Gaylord India Restaurant

Indian food has always led a curious double life as far as Asian cuisines are concerned. Chinese is ubiquitous with little white take-out boxes and a sodium knock-out to accompany your late night movies or work binges. Japanese cuisine rarely suffers anything more common than a kitschy bento box at even the lowest tier of this middle-class dining style. Thai holds a respectable middle ground with the occasional entrant in fine dining, but Indian always seems to find itself split between cheap buffets or sit-down locations with elegant waiters and large price tags to justify them.

Gaylord Indian Restaurant lives something of a double life. For evenings, it can be found hosting couples or formal-looking groups around presentation appetizers and artistic desserts. But by day, the lunch hour runs at a slightly faster pace, and the restaurant transforms into a buffet of select dishes in addition to the regular menu.

A tall mango lassi can be had for $4, and goes well with just about anything on the menu. Tradtional favorites abound, vindaloo chicken for $19, tika masala for $15, or aloo bengan for $11. Adventuresome eaters can try the lamb kadai ($17), with pieces of crystallized ginger providing a unique crunch and pockets of intense flavor to compliment the rich meat.

A series of king, queen, and veggie set meals are available for the hearty eater. The veggie with roughly seven items included in the meal for $18 will make even a meat-eater proclaim themselves full, and that's the smallest of the lot. Even with that warning, few will probably be able to resist a sweet milky dessert of ras malai, or the orange basundi with a touch of Grand Marnier.

Lunch diners take note you should stick to the buffet if only to avoid the sheer gluttony that the full menu can induce in otherwise perfectly rational eaters.

Average cost: $10-$20

Centerstage Reviewer: Dan Morgridge

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Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; noon-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; dinner: 5:30-10 p.m. daily

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