By Kent Palmer from Chicago

Beer and Indian Food

I had the pleasure the other sunny day to visit a Chicago-area Indian restaurant to pair the food with authentic Nepali and Indian cuisine.

In the foot hills of Bloomingdale’s Stratford Square MallThe Himalayan serves delicious fare. Open at this location on Army Trail Road for less than two years, a Chicago city secret, their Niles location in has been a local fav for eight years now.

A vegetarian, I have found it challenging to find food to eat that respects my diet when I go out to eat. An exception is Indian food. The Indian culture, whether through tradition or karma – does not include animal flesh or fat.

In order to sample different flavors and dishes I chose to sample the buffet.

Vegetable biryani was yummy with rice. The daal makhani was delightful and not too spicy. But what blew me away was the paneer tikka masala, homemade paneer – firm farmers cheese – in a creamy, flavorful sauce. I enjoyed the salad on the side to cool my palate, although there were plenty of condiments to hep things up if I wanted. Meat eaters would enjoy the peppers stuffed with tandoori-chicken and vegetables, a chef’s special.


Owner Vivek told me that all the food for the buffet is prepared fresh that morning and I could believe it.

For afters, I had the most delicious dessert I have tasted in a long while, the mango ice cream. If it was possible I might try to subsist on this frozen, flavored foray, but my pancreas says, ‘No’.

My beer of choice was Taj Mahal, a 20-ounce bottle of classic lager, a beer for the connoisseur. Somehow I remember a line from the sci-fi classic Red Dwarf noting that the only thing that can kill a curry is a good lager. A Royal Challenge might be a choice for another day.