330 East 6th Avenue (6th and Grant)
Capitol Hill, Denver
Bus directions: Take the 0 from Market Street Station to 6th and Broadway and walk east (or take the 6)
Maybe it was a mistake to walk down Sixth Avenue from Broadway east to Downing at lunchtime. I was hungry but had no idea what I really wanted for lunch. Something will strike me, I thought, which turned out to be a prophecy.
As I stood at the corner of Sixth and Broadway, I drank in the smell of grilled food, even if it was from the Burger King. I decided against Il Vicino, where I’ve had dinner at least once (apparently it made no impression on me), ignored the chain restaurants at The Shops at Sixth and Broadway and Broadway Central, and turned my back on the mountains.
I took a good long look at Daphne’s Greek Café (a western chain established in San Diego in 1991); Racine’s, which had an awfully nice patio; and a sushi joint whose name I didn’t write down. I kept walking. It was the sign for Little India, tucked up behind a unprepossessing building, that finally convinced me to get out of the sun scorching the top of my head.
(Women who are losing their hair should have enough sense to wear hats, but I cordially dislike them. I think it’s time to buy a wig. I suspect it would be as uncomfortable as a hat, but at least my hair would look better.)
Little India on 6th was the first location in the Denver area; others followed at 15th and Champa and on South Downing. When I walked in, it took my eyes a minute to adjust to the dark, cool interior. The restaurant was busy, so unfortunately they seated me by the front, next to the buffet. If I’d been paying more attention, I would have asked for a two-top against the back wall. At least I didn’t have to walk far to get my food.
I took advantage of the buffet, which is to say, I ate a lot: 2 servings of saag, 2 of chicken tandoori, salad, mango custard, and several pieces of naan. The saag was rich and spicy (the best I’ve ever had, I think), and the tandoori was salmon-colored and smoky. The chicken curry was nothing special. My server at Little India did not bring fresh naan to my table; it was piled on the buffet, and then a mad rush followed. It would have been better fresh.
Pet peeve: every Indian restaurant I’ve visited covers its buffets with an incredibly low hood. Is an Indian buffet meant only for short people? Or people with very long arms? Am I supposed to stick my head under there? That would seem to defeat the purpose of the hood.
Other than my struggles with the hood, and the table right next to the buffet, I managed to enjoy my lunch and read my book about magical cats. The staff were gracious about letting me take this picture of the bar (there are many more on the animated website).
Unfortunately, by the time I walked four blocks down 6th to Pablo’s (see the end of this post), I was desperately in need of a bathroom. I’m not certain it was any particular thing I ate. It could have been the coffee I had in the morning (even decaf will sometimes upset my stomach) or the huge amounts of food I ate at lunch.
All I can say is, thank God for Pablo’s.
P.S. I’ve been to Little India before, and I’ll go there again if the occasion is right. I’ve had too many sensitivity incidents with my digestive system to blame it on the restaurant at this point.