Desi Chaat House Philadelphia Review

Desi Chaat House

501 42nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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Desi Chaat House

Desi Chaat House Philadelphia Review - Cold Shit

Show us one desi who doesn’t love Chaat, that yummy, tangy, spicy, savory, orgasm-inducing Indian street food.

So when we heard of Desi Chaat House in Philadelphia, we turned on our Garmin 265WT GPS and made haste to the place.

Located at the intersection of 42nd St and Baltimore Ave in Philadelphia, the Pakistani-owned Desi Chaat House is a sibling of the nearby Desi Village, owned by restaurateur Ali Bukhari.

Awfully Cold Chat

Although the Chaat House has been around for several months now, the place still has a work-in-progress feel to it.

When we went there the other day and asked if Andhra Chaat (listed on its web site menu) was available, the Pakistani fellow behind the counter responded with a quick ‘yes,’ headed to the line of boxes of crispy bits, stared at ‘em all and returned saying that he had run out of the crispy mixture for the Andhra Chaat. :(

A little miffed, we ordered the Samosa Chaat and Mumbai Chaat and followed it up later with Paapdi Chaat.

desi chaat house samosa chaat
Awfully Cold Samosa Chaat

Our single major grouse against Desi Chaat House is that the Chaat here is way too cold since freezing cold yogurt is used in the preparation.

Such cold yogurt robbed the Chaat of some of its magical flavor and left us extremely irritated. Plus, the weather was also a little chilly and we were not in the mood for such cold stuff.

Well, if it’s a desi eating place you have to be prepared for all kinds of shit.

Even cold shit. :(

desi chaat house mumbai chat
Freezing Cold Mumbai Chaat

Not just the yogurt, even the other ingredients of our Chaat like chickpeas, black channa and potato pieces were cold too.

Obviously, Desi Chaat House and its owner Ali Bukhari do not care too much about pleasing diners.

All Bukhari seems to care about is picking $5.99 from your pocket for each of the Chaats.

Why else would Desi Chaat House use such cold ingredients in the Chaat.

That said, even with all the cold nonsense the Chaats didn’t taste too bad. Maybe, we were totally famished. Or were we on a nostalgia trip?

Of the three Chaat we tried, Papdi Chaat was the spiciest since it came with a red chilli sauce on top of the various ingredients.

By the way, the Chaat here come in small takeout boxes if you are in a mood to take it home.

Missing Biryani

We were still famished!

And it was hard to miss the two huge bowls on the counter marked Vegetable Biryani and Chicken Biryani.

But when we asked for Vegetable Biryani, another disappointment awaited us.

We were told it had yet to arrive from Desi Village, located a few blocks down the road. Apparently, it’s cooked there and then transported to this place. It was around 1:15PM by this time and the Vegetable Biryani had not made it to Desi Chaat House. Ridiculous considering the place opens at 12PM.

Again, at desi eating houses you’ve to be prepared for all kinds of shit.

Desi Chaat House is not really an eat-in kind of place although there are four black steel chairs and a narrow table by the window. More of a takeout joint.

Before we forget, the Chaat chef (from Punjab in Pakistan) behind the counter was a friendly soul and brought us two napkins. But he deigned to give us a glass of water only after we finished eating.

And he didn’t care to give us a bill/receipt but collected the tax too! So, how are they going to remember to remit the tax to the city/state? :(

Folks, much as we and y’all love Chaat, it’s hard for us to recommend Desi Chaat House and we suggest you stay away.

Ali Bukhari really needs to strive harder and stop insulting Chaat lovers with freezing cold yogurt and other cold ingredients in the Chaat. - ©

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