Desi Chaat House

Chaat traditionally refers to a roadside snack, purchased at a cart or in a small shop in India or Pakistan. In West Philadelphia, it means an inexpensive and delicious meal-sized snack, available for take-out at Desi Chat house or their sister Baltimore Ave. sister, Mood Cafe. Desi Chaat opened in the neighborhood over a year ago, and I finally walked in the door.

Chaat involves options. Lots of options. And sometimes the menu descriptions at Desi Chaat leave a lot of “description” to be desired. I decided to just go for what I know sounded good, which is how I ended up ordering the Bhel Puri chaat pictured above. papris, puffed rice, sev, onions, potatoes, raw mango and both spicy and sweet chutneys. Sound delicious? It was. I meant to only eat half of the huge container, but I kept going back for more. That sweet + spicy combination, along with the crunch + soft textures, was near ideal.

Not understanding how large the servings would, naturally adventurous in spirit, and interested in using my $2 off of $10 gift certificate from Recycle Bank, I ordered the Fruit Chaat. This blend of seasonal fruits (mango, banana, green grapes – well, I guess they are in season somewhere) with a yougurt sauce and sweet chutney was fine, but it didn’t have the kapow of the Bhel Puri. I was able to restrain myself and saved the second half of the container for the following morning’s breakfast.

Two things made my Desi Chaat experience even better. #1: After noticing that my coupon didn’t have an expiration date, the very friendly manager returned it to me to use again. #2 I loaded up the chaat in my trusty bicycle basket and went to Clark Park to enjoy it in the sunshine on the new bright orange park folding chairs!

Desi Chaat House on Urbanspoon

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