Quick Bite: India's Cafe & Kitchen

Parma: After trying the most-often recommended Indian restaurants in town, I figured I might have to give up on my naan cravings, which I had developed when I moved away. Sometimes I catch myself daydreaming of Indian flatbread, sturdy enough to scoop up sauce but always tasty, be it traditional or garlic-flavored.

Saffron Patch’s tastes too bland. The Mad Greek has great hummus, but the Indian food is nothing to speak of. Café Tandoor? Maybe it’s a picky Western palate, but I can only get them to serve me something overly spicy or not spicy enough.

But driving through Parma, I passed by an Indian grocery store with a restaurant attached. There were a dozen people eating inside, all dressed in traditional Indian garb. Good sign.
India’s Café & Kitchen is by no means an impressive sit-down restaurant. Quite the opposite, actually. It has a few card tables set up on the tiled floor and a small area for a lunch buffet. And whether dining in or getting food on the go, meals are served in takeout containers. The vegetable samosas ($2.99 for a pair) are firm but not too crispy. The spicy triangular pastries filled with potatoes and peas have some punch to them, but the hot spices do not overwhelm the flavors of the appetizer. The Malai Kofta ($7.99) is spicy, too, but pleasantly so. And the vegetable balls — Malai Kofta is kind of a vegetarian meatball in a sauce similar to Chicken Korma — hold together without being chewy.

Listen to the owner if he makes a suggestion. When my dining partner ordered the Chicken Tikka ($8.99), he suggested she would not like it without sauce and should consider the Chicken Tikka Masala ($8.99). And he was right, as the spicy cubes of chicken sans sauce was a tad dry.Butmost of all, the naan I ordered ($1.50 for a generous portion of a half dozen or so pieces) confirmed that I’d found a new takeout Indian restaurant. India’s Cafe & Kitchen, 5549 Ridge Road Parma, (440) 842-7724, Tue - Fri, noon - 3 p.m. & 5:30 - 10 p.m., Sat & Sun, noon - 10 p.m.
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