There are pros and cons to Chutney Joe’s in the South Loop. Pro? Because it’s not a buffet there’s no way to gorge yourself on samosas and pakora. Con? Because it’s not a buffet there’s no way to gorge yourself on samosas and pakora.
Coming from a background of a life full of Indian buffets, the idea of such a limited selection of dishes is offputting at first. When you’re used to paying 8.95 for an all-you-can eat dive into gluttony, the 6.99 for 2 dishes and some rice raises plenty of alarms. And the thimble of chutney they “generously” give you only made the alarms louder.
It’s too bad, too, because the food is good, if limited. The menu is comprised of 4 meat dishes and 4 vegetarian dishes. The samosas were well blended and not greasy. The spinach paneer had a nice kick. And while the gobi potatoes were more cauliflower than potato, the spices were still a nice touch.
It all ultimately comes down to the price (and the stingy chutney amounts). The restaurant itself does look like a renovated Chipotle, a goal the owner has stated he was trying to achieve. The location is perfect for college kids looking for a better meal than the other fast food in the area. And as I’ve said, the food is good. Maybe for a quick fix until you can find a buffet to attack, Chutney Joe’s is perfect; but if you’re used to buffet amounts at affordable prices, Chutney Joe’s isn’t for you.
511 S. State St.
Chicago, IL 60605