Disclaimer: This location has closed. There is a branch of Chutney Joe’s in Ogilvie Centre at 500 W. Madison Street.
A crisp, autumn Saturday morning in Chicago. I wrap up a photography assignment. My stomach is growling, which is no big surprise. I am hankering for something to quiet the rumbling, but not put me in a food comatose. I am in Chicago, so I have options. And I happen to be in the vicinity of a certain Indian café that I have frequented on occasion. The notion of the photography assignment being only a short distance leaves me with a smile. I pack my camera and accessories and head for the bus so that I can get to 511 S. State Street. Chutney Joe’s is my destination.
It is a little after 1:00 PM when I arrive. The place is filled. Not quite to capacity, thought. I spot a window seat that I conscript by placing my coat and stuff in the seat. It is then off to the counter to place my order for something spicy. A vegetarian biriyani. Two vegan samosas. Yes. I sit and commence to show my appreciation for the good eats after I snap a few photos and get stares from people who realize that they had gobbled up most of the food on their platters before snapping photos of their delights.
Whenever I had gone to Chutney Joe’s previously, I ordered something like daal, rajma, or gobi aloo. Trying the biriyani here was a stretch and a pleasant surprise at the same time. Although quite heavy on the cloves, which I wish was the case of most biriyanis I have, there was a nice amount of corn, green beans, green peas, and potatoes in the dish without minimizing the rice portion. The samosas were outstanding. Albeit a common staple in the Indian diet, it is nice when they are actually tasty. Chutney Joe’s gets it right when it comes to the samosas and I was pleased with each bite.
Good service. Good food. Good price. What more could you want? Perhaps a side order. Perhaps some more food, period. For something quick to enjoy while sitting or for take-away, Chutney Joe’s is a spot that I recommend highly. I might warn you that the food can be incredibly spicy. Then again, when it gets nippy here in Chicago, spicy is welcomed. And it is a very good thing that at 511 S. State Street there is Chutney Joe’s to serve up some satisfaction.
And after I got home later in the evening, I found a surprise. Desiree’s Delicious Delectables. This is going to be a wonderful autumn and winter.