BRIDGEPORT — A month ago, if Arpit Sheth wanted Indian food, he had to get in his car and drive across town to get it.
That changed when Oberoi's Indian Food & Grocery, an India-based franchise, opened at 255 W. 31st St. — walking distance from where the 23-year-old studies computer science at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
"There were no Indian restaurants in this area," said Sheth, who moved to Chicago from Gujarat — Indian's westernmost state — in 2014. "This is really good for Indian people in this area."
The restaurant carries some of the most student-friendly hours in the neighborhood, open every day from noon-midnight.
Oberoi's menu includes mildly spiced Indian dishes popular in North India, including samosas, a crusty appetizer stuffed with potatoes, peas and traditional spices. The quick-and-easy quality of samosas make them a popular choice among students.
The restaurant's knockout entree is the butter chicken, served in a Punjabi flavored curry sauce.
Other standouts include biryani, a rice dish made with either vegetables, chicken or goat, and grilled chicken tikka. Check out the entire menu here.
Each entree comes with traditional Indian breads, including chapati, naan and paratha.
Then there are the desserts. The most popular treat is sweet lassi, a yogurt-based drink used in India as a digestive and coolant during the summer.
Sultan Shaikh is one of the restaurant's managers. He credits homemade recipes, seasoned chefs and a commitment to fresh ingredient for the restaurant's success.
"They are the people who have been making food since they were kids," Shaikh said. "It's kind of like grandma's recipe. It's that authentic. We use the best ingredients around."
Kiran Katwa, the restaurant's head manager, said the secret ingredient at Oberoi's is the time that goes into making the food.
"It's not like flipping burgers," Katwa said. "Everything you get here is made from scratch."
Oberoi's Bridgeport location marks the brand's second Chicago restaurant. You can find the original in West Ridge, 6407 N. Bell Ave.
The main difference between the two restaurants is the grocery section you'll find on the South Side, stocked with all the ingredients you'll need — from spices to sauces and rice — to cook up Indian cuisine at home.
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