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“Spicy South Indian (Vegetarian only)”
Review of Shri Balaji Bhavan

Shri Balaji Bhavan
Ranked #1,048 of 8,183 Restaurants in Houston
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: Indian, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Highchairs Available, Seating, Takeout, Television
Description: For over 20 years, we have been serving Houston the best South Indian food this city has to offer. We strive in making the freshest and most authentic South Indian food! For the past 4 years we have made the Houston Chronicle, Alison Cook's Houston's Top 100 restaurants, and for 2016 the Houston Press named us as the best Indian restaurant in Houston, Texas. Have you had your Dosa yet? No? Don't wait, come in and dine with us today!!!
Level Contributor
64 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Spicy South Indian (Vegetarian only)”
Reviewed March 16, 2012

Located in Houston's "Little India", this strip-center hole-in-the-wall is one of my favorite places to dine. It's nothing fancy, and good luck spending much more than $10! Diners place their order at the counter and then pick up the food when it's ready, which is pretty quickly.

My favorite dish here and the thing that keeps me coming back is the Samosa Chaat. This is a traditional samosa that is decapitated and then drowned in a spicy sauce of chickpeas and cilantro. I also like the chili rice - very simply biryani rice with chiles. Last night I had what seems like the Indian version of "sloppy joes", with toasted buns served a very spicy curry sauce with onions and ??? (Balaji Bhava). We also had another dish for the first time last night - a daal fry mixed with rice.

I am usually the only non-Indian when I dine here, which is always a great sign. It's nothing fancy, but it's clean and the wait-staff is very friendly. I have never been anything but pleased with any dish I have tried.

Word of warning: Closed on Tuesdays!

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Alan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Best dosas and filter coffee!”
Reviewed February 13, 2012

Good south Indian food. Their dosas are quite well made and at par with what you get in India. High quality food.

Problem is that they have self service system where you go and get the food from the counter and then one helper clears off the plates after you are done eating. When the place gets crowded their service slows down. It takes forever for the tables to get sanitized and then when you look around you see dirty leftovers on the next tables. If you can live with that then its a great place for south Indian food!

Visited November 2011
1 Thank firedrill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
82 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Good South Indian Food”
Reviewed January 6, 2012

Not so great seating and service. Its a small place and crowded but the food is good and they maintain quality. Also the prices are reasonable.

Visited January 2012
Thank ak2931
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level Contributor
27 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Excellent South Indian food at an affordable price”
Reviewed December 6, 2011

I am a big fan of south Indian food and while in Houston, I wanted to make the best use of the opportunity and eat quality south Indian food. My hunger for this flavor of Indian food was satisfied when I found this restaurant. The business model is extremely simple. You walk up to the cash register, get the menu, order what you want, pay for it and leave with a token and find your own seating. When the food is ready the host/waiter will walk over to your table (after identifying you with the token number).

The variety of south Indian food is mind boggling. The quality & taste are the best I've had in the US. Everything on the menu is freshly prepared right then and there. I absolutely loved their dosa (think it was called Bangalore special dosa or something like that). For starters I had what they called Rageda Pattice. Apparently this was a new item on the menu I was told and boy, was it spicy! I considered that I was highly tolerant of spicy flavor till I had this. The taste again was fantastic. I also ordered their mango lassi for the drink. Its one of my favorite Indian drinks and I make it a point to order it whenever I visit any Indian restaurant. But this one by far has been the best mango lassi I've ever tasted. For the main course, I had the dosa. They also offer a wide selection of dessert but I was already full from eating these two dishes that I skipped dessert altogether. I especially have to state that the sambhar or sambar (however its spelled) is by far the most authentic i've ever tasted. Having been to India I have tasted authentic Indian sambar and this is by far close to or dare I say better than the sambar i've had in India! So if you are in Houston do stop by this place and try out their food, you will be glad you did!

Oh, on weekends, be prepared to wait to get seating, especially if its around lunch time. People just flock here for lunch and the wait can get a little irritating as your nostrils take in the wonderful aroma of the food around you :)

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank chandsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
“Awesome dabelis and thalis”
Reviewed January 30, 2008

Awesome dabelis and thalis

Thank A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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