This might be a cabbie joint if the cabbies knew where to find it. Tucked away in the UIC/Little Italy
corridor among a smattering of family style red sauce joints, you almost have to squint to find the non-descript blue awning hanging on the basement level of a towering red brick three flat.
Step down inside and the linoleum floor, banquet-style vinyl backed chairs, and red diamond patterned tablecloths and fake carnations leaning precariously in their bud vases don't offer much more promise.
But behind the counter you'll find some of the friendliest, most gregarious Indian restaurant proprietors in all of the Chicago, along with a smattering of their kids and grandkids, the kind of folks who remember your name if you dine here more than once.
Just as friendly are the prices, which don't top $6.99 for any entree. Fluffy rice biryani studded with tender lamb, crunchy nuts and plenty of herbs is a stand-out, while curries are authentically mouth searing.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Michael Nagrant