Uru Swati (Restaurant, Rogers Park)
Location: 2629 W. Devon
Reservation: Not accepted
There are a mind-numbing number of places to eat on the West Devon Avenue Indo-Pak corridor between Ridge and California. My current favorite is Uru Swati, on the South East corner of Devon and Talman. It’s all vegetarian – don’t stop reading meat fans, it’s really good – and has a decent-sized menu with different regional styles represented. In a happy postmodern twist, an English translation of the menu prepared and posted online by an avid but unaffiliated foodie has been copied and printed by the proprietors of the restaurant. The real winners here are the chaat offerings. Chaat refers to Indian street food. The samosa chaat reminds me of a vegetarian Indian version of a chili dog, which sounds gross but is actually a potatoey, crispy, chick-pea and tomato masterpiece that is in itself a meal for $3. The food here is CHEAP, always hot and fresh and prepared by happy-looking people (it must be family-run) and relatively healthy despite healthy doses of ghee. Uru Swati does a huge takeout business, but it’s nice to stay there. The inside of the restaurant is really charming in a kind of weird way. The walls are decorated with cutouts of skyscrapers that stick out from the wall at varying degrees giving a textured 3-D look. There’s also flatscreen TVs showing and loudly broadcasting current Bollywood hits. The overall impression the space would give without the tables is a fashionable shoe store in an Indian mall. Give it a shot…or should I say a chaat! Sorry.