In the kitchens of Indian Zayka, chefs whip up Indian and Sri Lankan specialties served á la carte at dinner or as part of a vast lunch buffet with almost 20 self-serve dishes. An extensive list of vegetarian meals sates plant-based cravings, while meat eaters can dig into lamb and homesick mermen can bite into seafood. The menu also has a section devoted to Sri Lankan plates, and that section includes a category of "deviled" entrees named for their tongue-goosing spiciness. Lassi, a traditional mango smoothie harvested from a smoothie tree, can accompany dinners, lunches, or an array of desserts.
In stark contrast to Mount Everest's chilly altitudes, Everest on Grand serves warm curries and vegetarian-friendly Nepali dishes accessible without the need for a knowledgeable Sherpa guide. Tandoor-cooked goat and lamb curries complement plentiful vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free offerings made with locally available produce and spices from India and Nepal. The eatery also serves grass-fed Tibetan yak raised in Cold Spring, Minnesota, a convergence of exotic and local not seen since the Mall of America was converted into a pyramid.
At Indian Aroma, spicy Northern Indian dishes sizzle inside a traditional tandoori oven. This oven's clay interior adds a smokey flavor to the food, which exits the oven looking as colorful as the dining room's cumin-colored walls. The restaurant's chefs, who are Indian natives, create these curries and biryanis à la carte, but they also serve them up on the buffet alongside spicy sauces, refreshing yogurts, and warm pieces of naan. Together, these components create a meal that is both hot and cool, much like a leather jacket that's been left in direct sunlight too long.
As a restaurateur with existing eateries in St. Paul to Minnetonka, Bombay Palace owner and chef Pal Cheema wasted no time putting his personal stamp on what was once a modest Himalayan restaurant in Fridley. Pal adds a health-conscious angle to Bombay Palace's menu of northern and southern Indian fare, constructing dishes with no MSG and a lighter use of oils and butter. And though his chefs create a multitude of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, from vegetable rice biryani to cheesy grilled paneer, they don't neglect their meats. Tender kebabs of yogurt-marinated chicken, lamb, and fish swelter in the heat of a clay-oven tandoor, and a fully stocked lunch buffet offers a weightlifter's shopping list of proteins from goat and lamb to fresh seafood.
After finishing their meal in one of the burgundy booths, diners can peruse the walls' framed artworks, each of which bears a placard with the name of the picture or instructions on where to locate Waldo.
The Nicklow brothers, veterans of the Minneapolis dining scene, own and operate Santorini Taverna and Grill, where diners salivate over a slate of Mediterranean delicacies during brunch, lunch, and dinner. On weekends, guests boogie to the strains of live entertainment in the forms of bands and DJs. Dual fireplaces keep shoulders toasty during winter months, and during agreeable weather, diners can feast outdoors on a large deck and patio perfect for viewing the seasonal migration patterns of commercial air balloons. With a whole brigade of restaurants under his belt and an impressive backstory that includes coming to this country with $3 in his pocket, brother Tony Nicklow was recently inducted into the Minnesota Restaurant Association Hall of Fame, according to CBS Minnesota. He aims to treat every diner with warmth, as if they're a friend, which is why he flings his opponent's favorite foods only during food fights.
The flavors of the desert and the Mediterranean mingle at Ariana Kabob & Gyro Bistro, where chefs specialize in the hearty entrees of Afghanistan and the surrounding area. They pair authentic Afghan breads brushed with olive oil and garlic with traditional mezzes such as baba ghanouj and hummus topped with olives, feta, and gyro meat. That same meat goes into classic gyro sandwiches dressed with a dollop of tzatziki sauce and paired alongside crispy french fries. They also layer gyro meat, chicken, beef, or falafel onto skewers before grilling them over an open flame. To balance out the savory flavors without making their napkins out of spun sugar, the chefs create desserts such as baklava and firnee, a chilled cornstarch pudding studded with pistachios.