The results for this question in our survey have changed a lot from previous years. For the first time, the vote is so lopsided, it is barely worth mentioning any but the first place winner, though I will, as the top choices are all very different from one another.
Perhaps in a sign of the problems that led to the closure, Vindalho, which has always done well in the past, only received four votes.
With a cuisine as regional and complex as Indian food, there is always room for more restaurants, and the restaurant at the top of the list proved that we would support another if it came along.
- 2012: Vindalho (17%), East India Company (16%), Bollywood Theater – 15.5%, Swagat (11%), Channai Masala (9%)…
- 2011: East India Company (17%), Vindalho (16%), Channai Masala (11%)
- Bollywood Theater – 45% of the total vote. 2039 NE Alberta, Portland 97211 Map (971) 200-4711 Indian street food. A second location will open at SE 30th and Division in late 2013. $ Open daily 11 am – 10 pm.
- East India Company – 13%. 821 SW 11th Ave Portland, OR 97205 Map (503) 227-8815 Mostly Northern Indian. Lunch: 11:30am – 2:00 pm, Dinner: 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm. $$$ My review
- Channai Masala (Hillsboro) – 7%. 2088 NW Stucki Ave, Hillsboro, OR 97124 Map (503) 531-9500. South Indian. Tuesday – Sunday 11:30 am – 2 pm & 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm. $
My favorite? This is going to sound like a cop-out, but I like all three. They are all very different from each other, focusing on different areas of India. If I’m in Hillsboro around lunchtime, I always go to Channai Masala. East India Company is more upscale than the other choices, but there has always been of a refined artistry there (though I haven’t been in a year, so don’t know if that is still the case). These days I go to Bollywood more than anywhere else. I like Troy, his food and the overall vibe of the restaurant.
Not a restaurant, but do try Tiffan Asha on Alberta at 13th. Terrific dosas, sambar, etc.
My wife and have been in Portland for 2 years. We both love Indian cuisine and the best restaurant in Portland we found it to be Swagat. We go there once a week (NW 21st Ave). I know they also have two other locations (Hillsboro and Beaverton) but we’ve never been to any.
Food Dude says
Swagat has been on the top list in the past, but didn’t make it this year.
Original Desi says
Usually, I don’t judge a book by its cover. In fact, when it comes to most Indian restaurants, I’ve always found the opposite to be true. i.e. the hole in the wall restaurants have awesome authentic food while the fancy pants restaurants tend to get some of their spices mixed up. I was happy to be wrong this time.
East India Co’s food stands out as supremely better than the likes of Bollywood Theater, Swagat and Chennai Masala. Abhiruchi in Beaverton is quite good too but not as good as EIC. I usually have a few select dishes at each of these restaurants to make sure I compare apples vs apples (with the exception of Bollywood Theatre because their menu tends to focus more on Indian fast / street food as opposed to formal entrees).
Of course, this is only my opinion :)
I’ve also been formally diagnosed as a supertaster (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supertaster)
Lastly, I am not an employee at any of these restaurants.
PDX Food Dude says
Thanks for the comment. Actually, many studies show that, for obvious reasons, “super tasters” make bad critics.