WEST RIDGE — Every time I visit Devon Avenue, I discover something new about the street.
I recently discovered several restaurants on the street are offering meal plans for students, particularly those from India.
I was shocked. I would have pounced at the idea. So I went back to find out what exactly these restaurants offered and how they might have made my lunch and dinner experience in Chicago so much better.
So for all the incoming Asian students and for the rest of the student community in Chicago, here is the list of restaurants that offer student meal plans:
Charminar Fine Dining and Grill (6350 N. Campbell Ave.): The owner of the restaurant at Devon and Campbell, while overseeing cooking for the day, tells me that more than 500 students signed up for the student meal plan this year. With two chapatis (wheat dough, rolled and cooked on a flat skillet), and a copious amount of rice, the plan comes with two gravies every day. The gravies will vary every day. The options include a vegetable curry (mixed vegetable, potato curry), and a meat curry like chicken makhani (butter chicken), mutton kurma (liquid sauce raised in meat fat and spices), and chicken masala. You will pay $250 per month for lunch, and you can pick up lunch every day. Tip: The restaurant gives copious amounts of food, so you will end up having enough food for lunch and dinner.
Hyderabad House (226 W. Devon Ave.): You might miss this restaurant on Devon and North Bell Avenue if you are not craving for some Hyderabadi dum biryani (rice slow-cooked with mutton). But it has some amazing mutton and chicken dishes on the menu like chilli chicken, chicken tikka masala and Hyderabadi style mutton curry (warning: it is SPICY). Their student meal plan offers two chapatis, rice, dal (lentils soup), with two meat curries, which varies every day. You can expect curries like butter chicken, chicken kurma and mutton curry. You will pay $150 and you can pick up the food anytime after 1 p.m. Tip: I'd suggest you sign up to get the biryani instead of rice once in a while — it might cost a few extra bucks, but it is totally worth it.
Naan on Devon (2241 W. Devon Ave.): This restaurant offers the best naan on the street. Their bread is soft and fluffy and will make you want to come back for more. The meal plan similar to Hyderabad House. At $150 per month, it offers two chapatis, rice, dal and one vegetable curry — palak paneer (spinach and tofu sauted in a spicy sauce) and mixed vegetable curry — and one meat curry including dum ka chicken (boneless chicken cooked in spicy sauce mixture) and mutton kurma. You will pay $150 per month for one meal and you will have to pick up food every day. Tip: You might want to check the change in the restaurant's hours (2 p.m. to 4 a.m.) due to Ramadan.
Mawa Paradise (6406 N. Oakley Ave.): This restaurant is known for its chicken curries. For its meal plan, it offers two chapatis, rice, dal and one mixed vegetable curry and one meat curry as well. But they have a wide variety of options for the meat curry that includes Shimla chicken (made with capsicum, butter and chicken cooked in a thich spice sauce), chilli chicken and mutton gosht (pan-fried lamb with spices). You will pay $140 per month, and you can pick up food anytime between 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. every day. Tip: Try every curry dish on the menu. It is worth it.
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