Edit ModuleShow Tags

Best Cheap Lunches of the Metro, Part II



Published:

After eating in the skyways for a couple months now, I finally, finally found something to recommend: The top-secret South Indian buffet that Bombay Bistro runs in the back-of-the- middle-of-nowhere Medical Arts Building.

Now, I say top-secret because:
  1. If you could be completely hidden and nowhere and still be in the middle of downtown Minneapolis, this is exactly where you’d be. You know where the rear skyway-entrance of the Barnes and Noble is? You know how there’s a tight escalator that goes down right there? Follow that escalator and head towards the Medical Arts Building, and you’ll find it. It’s the absolutely windowless Indian buffet right past all the empty stuff.
  2. The phone number doesn’t work.
  3. They have no take out menu, business card, or any identifying printed matter besides this blog post.
  4. It has almost nothing to do with the other, real Bombay Bistro; the nice man behind the counter explained to me that the real Bombay Bistro is North Indian, and has a different kitchen and different cooks. I’ve been to the other Bombay bistro and found nothing too special about it, so, this made me happy.
  5. It’s been open for about three months and I’m the only person I know who knows its there. I mean, besides the other two- dozen diners who were there.
So, what’s so great about it, besides being top-secret? The food was fresh, whole, and good. I’ve been sort of dismayed in the skyways to find how much food seems to be grease held together by chicken smithereens, but it’s not like that here. Okay, I realize that sounds like I’m damning it with faint praise, but I really liked it. It runs $9.50, and for your sawbuck you get: pappadums, nan, salad, saffron or plain rice; a fruity, fresh coconut chutney; a really vibrant raita swimming with fresh carrots, mango pickles; big healthy pieces of tender tandoori chicken; chicken curry; mattar paneer (fresh cheese and peas); three more vegetable-based curries (South Indian food is the vegetarian-friendly one); fresh idliy (those flying saucer shaped rice pancakes); a fresh paper-thin dosa crêpe cooked and brought right to you; plus a fruit salad, a fountain soda, and a really wonderful dessert. No, seriously, a really wonderful dessert. Semiya payasam is sort of like rice pudding, but it’s made with very thin, short wheat noodles, raisins, milk, and fresh ground cardamom. Most of the versions I’ve ever had taste just kind of cheap and yucky—condensed-milk sweet and not much more than that—but the one I just had at Bombay Bistro South Indian was glorious comfort food: Simple, sweet, but not too sweet, and offering just enough raisins and cardamom to make it interesting.

My bill: $10.51 with tax. It’s the best thing I’ve found for fast, downtown skyway eating, save Brother’s Delicatessen, but we’ll talk about that another time.


Bombay Bistro South Indian

825 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
612-333-1314
Lunch only; 11 a.m.-2 p.m. weekdays
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Rum and Molasses Marinated Beef Kebabs with Grilled Cantaloupe Recipe

Get fired up for a taste of the tropics in sizzling grilled kebabs

4 Restaurants, Nearly $850,000 in Park Board Money

How much do Sea Salt, Sandcastle, Tin Fish, and Bread & Pickle make for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board?

Fancy Fresh: 3 Things to Eat This Week

A morel tasting menu, a trendy foie gras egg creation, a worthy cinnamon roll—for your long-weekend staycation
Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

TC Taste answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the TC Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Recent TC Taste Posts

Rum and Molasses Marinated Beef Kebabs with Grilled Cantaloupe Recipe

Get fired up for a taste of the tropics in sizzling grilled kebabs

4 Restaurants, Nearly $850,000 in Park Board Money

How much do Sea Salt, Sandcastle, Tin Fish, and Bread & Pickle make for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board?

Fancy Fresh: 3 Things to Eat This Week

A morel tasting menu, a trendy foie gras egg creation, a worthy cinnamon roll—for your long-weekend staycation

Fried Avocado Tacos with Shredded Vegetables and Crema Recipe

Never thought of frying avocados? Once you try it, you might want to eat them all the time.

The Minnesota Connection to the Mondavi Wine Family

MNMO food critic Jason DeRusha sits down with Carlo Mondavi to talk wine and the (Italian by way of Minnesota) family legacy

Santa Maria–Style Tri-Tip Recipe

Step up your grilling repertoire with Mexican-inspired seasonings on juicy tri-tip
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Crazy Good: 3 Things to Eat This Week

Is that ice cream made with foie gras? Shh...just eat it...

Mother’s Day Brunch

Driscoll's berries are the perfect ingredient for a Mother's Day brunch

Byte Minneapolis Doesn't Bite

Part "geek bar," part "cafe"—Byte is a Warehouse District counter service spot paying $15 minimum wage, vacation time, and benefits

Chinese-Spiced Pork Recipe

Let your slow cooker simmer up savory pork dinner while you enjoy your day

A Little Package of Joy Just For You

Driscoll's berries are the key to happiness.

Baja Style Fish Tacos Recipe

Gear up for Cinco de Mayo with light and crispy fish tacos dressed with fresh green salsa and a lime-infused coleslaw
Edit ModuleShow Tags

A Stillwater Favorite for Good Reason

LoLo Stillwater's incredible cocktails and fantastic food have this restaurant expanding to Hudson and the MSP Airport

Force blooming spring at Sandcastle, Hola Arepa, and Solo Vino

It's spring, gosh darn it, and we're going to eat like it's sunny at Sandcastle, Hola Arepa, and Solo Vino

Hasselback Potatoes with Watercress and Watercress Sauce Recipe

Crunchy outside yet tender within, the popular potato and salad come together in one beautiful dish
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags