As the tiny, overflowing parking lot can attest to, Hyderabad House is a dining favorite of a select group of regulars, mostly cabdrivers. Where else would people double- and triple-park with reckless abandon except for the friendly local eatery where you can pull up a battered chair and chat all night with a friend over a steaming plate of lamb biryani?
This out-of-the-way eatery on Devon is the Indian/Pakistani equivalent of your local greasy hamburger joint. If you like your food authentic and greasy, then this is the place for you. The slightly dingy floor and fluorescent lighting don't flatter the plastic-covered tables and bland walls much, but the lack of aesthetically pleasing decor somehow adds to the place's local charm. Even the bathroom sink (located in the actual dining area near the front entrance) adds a bit of flair to the experience. The water is self-serve from a giant water cooler in the corner under the TV blaring Bollywood favorites.
The menu is relatively short, though also difficult to make out as it is scribbled out (and partially erased) on a white board behind the cash register. Each meal comes with an extensive array of plates and bowls. Five came out with my chicken masala ($8): a plate with sliced cucumber and onion, a bowl of large greasy chunks of chicken, a bowl of soup, a heaping pile of long rice and a side of what looked and tasted like wheat tortillas. The food is surprisingly good, though anyone looking for a fine-dining experience should head directly across the street to the Hyderabad House Family Dining location, where the same food is available in a fancier atmosphere.
Behind the cash register there is also a bit of a storefront, selling various spices.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Zach Freeman