Sukhadia's2559 W Devon Ave
Chicago IL 60659
Sukhadia's Chicago Review: Lousy Food, Delicious Sweets, Crunchy SnacksSukhadia’s is a landmark on Devon St. for Chicago desis prematurely ejaculating over nostalgic reveries of the motherland, Incredible India.
Besides the cornucopia of Indian Sweets and Snacks to which they owe their fame, Sukhadia’s also serves fast food.
For most desis in the Chicago area, a visit to Devon is incomplete without hitting the pause button at Sukhadia’s.
So, when I visited Sukhadia’s on Devon last Tuesday evening I expected nothing but the very best!
Sukhadia’s is conveniently located, bang in the middle of the Indian strip on Devon Street.
Parking can be a hassle at Devon because of the cramped space, constant traffic and Indians abdicating their polite facade and unleashing their baser desi instincts of pent-up rudeness and rash driving that are otherwise held in check at other places and times.
Parking a few blocks away, I lazily sauntered over to Sukhadia’s.
Only to find it surprisingly devoid of the usual hustle and bustle. It seemed the store was ready to close any minute.
I decided to sanctify them by dining in and carrying out sweets and snacks for extended company.
Modest AmbianceLike most desi establishments in the U.S., Sukhadia’s boasts of a modest ambiance with basic facilities.
The shelves and refrigerators are clean and neatly organized.
Tables and floor are tidy. Sugar dispensers, plastic cutlery and paper towels are aplenty.
Like most cheap desi establishments, the Sukhadia’s serve food in Styrofoam plates .
Styrofoam plates, Gaaawd!
The rest room is disgusting and horribly maintained.
Oh, why should that come as a surprise?
Devon desi joints offer nothing but the worst when it comes to rest rooms.
The FoodSukhadia’s is a self-service place.
We placed our order and paid the bill at the counter after a quick scan of their menu that boasts of an assortment of Chaat, South & North Indian and Gujarati items.
The first item that trotted our way was the commonplace Mumbai street food, Pav Bhaji.
The delectable Bhaji alone justified our long drive to Devon and to our pleasant surprise I found it non-greasy and non-watery.
However, I was least impressed with the Pav.
You see, the cheapos at Sukhadia’s seem to be buying the cheapest possible buns from a local grocery store and peddling it as Pav. While there was nothing much wrong about the Pav, the fact that they took no extra effort to make one themselves or at least differentiate it from the standard grocery store bun irked us no end.
You see, our standards have increased after coming to Amreeka!
Next up was Chole Puri, which was adequate in taste although nothing exceptional. Hey, the Jalapeno-Carrot pickle was a good side.
With a nice balance of sourness and right amount of spice, it turned out to be quite addictive.
So addictive indeed that I took a box home.
Out came Dahi Batata Puri and, boy, what an utterly lousy, disgusting piece of shit did these bozos serve us!
It was cold, watery, stale and puke-worthy with the Puris disintegrating on holding.
Arre o Sambha, are you listening?
Needless to say, we were livid at these cartoons.
The Roti-Subji helped us partially recover from the tsunami of ‘Dahi Batata Puri’ disgust we were drowning in.
Roti was large, soft and warm and the Kala Channa subji was a fine side.
The other Subji involving the rape of Baingan (Egg Plant) with a salty concoction masquerading as gravy, was unfit for human consumption. Or for that matter, even animals.
Again, the Jalapeno-Carrot pickle abated the agony (Or as young Macaulay would have said, Thank You, Madam, the agony is abated).
The less said the better of the Salt Lassi and Masala Chai.
Masala Chai is supposed to be aromatic and hot.
Alas, we were served a brownish lukewarm bilge devoid of any aroma or flavor.
Salt Lassi turned out to be partially beaten sour curd with no salt.
Cursing the Sukhadia’s in the foulest language, we junked both items without much ado.
Alas, it was not our day.
The store manager / owner told us that most of the items in the menu were not available because they were shortstaffed that day and they did not expect many visitors.
Why do you keep the store open then?
Desperate for some $$$$?
Of course! You greedy bozos would like to snatch every dollar from our wallet even if it is by delivering sub-standard quality.
Delicious SweetsI am not an aficionado of sweets but I guarantee a trip to Sukhadia’s can put you on a high dose of Mithai-addiction.
To keep our desi lower jaws busy for a few days, I selected a sampling of sweets from their fine spread and a few snacks as well.
During the selection of sweets, the glib talking owner was a constant irritant offering his unwanted opinion.
When I asked for a sample of what was labeled as Mathura Peda he promptly thrust his hand into the tray and split the item into two pieces with his fingers and thrust his left hand with one half of the sweet towards my face as he flung the other half back into the tray.
Does this [email protected] not know that he is supposed to wear gloves (gloves were present and his helper was using gloves)? Does the Chutiya not know why God bestowed Indians with the left hand?
(Water + desi left hand = clean bottom!)
Ignoring the bozo’s crude, unclean, defiling act, I checked it out (why, God!).
To my surprise, he packed all the items into a nice "Sukhadia’s" bag instead of the clumsy plastic bags.
Let me say upfront that all the sweets with the exception of the Sweet Cutlet (bottom row, extreme left) were fantastic!
Each one tasted exactly how it should taste.
Sweet Cutlet tasted odd and didn't exactly thrill me.
Ras Malai, Kala Jamun and Besan Ladoo were the picks of the lot although the other items were almost as good.
Ras Malai was a spongy delight. It oozed every bit of Ras in perfect coordination with the melting of the malai in my appreciative mouth.
Hmmmmm.. I almost came right in the store!
Kala Jamun was fantastic, evenly cooked, sweet but not overtly saturating.
Absolutely divine... The version with coconut flakes was also very good.
Prima facie, Besan Ladoo wasn't that appealing but one bite wiped all doubts away and it proved its worth in besan
The other run of the mill stuff - Motichor Ladoo, Kaju Katri etc, were not exceptionally unique but adequate and sweet!
After this visit, I added two more items to my "Must Try Again" list of sweets and those were the Carrot Burfi and Kalakand.
A mere 10 seconds in the microwave brought all the life back in them much to the delight of my taste buds.
Crunchy SnacksA review of Sukhadia’s is incomplete without mention of their fine snacks.
We tried the crunchy Chaklu, Spicy Banana Chips and fine Mixture.
All fine items, good to munch on while watching your favorite Bollywood or Kollywood drivel.
Chaklu is my favorite, second only to my inamorata.
It reminds me of its Tamil Cousin "Thattai".
While they are mostly similar, the use of Sabudana in Chaklu differentiates them.
The noise of a Chaklu disintegrating in my mouth is like magic.
Chips and Mixture are a fine companion.
For your Beer, Whisky or any other Bacchus that gets you high!
Sukhadia' RatingFolks - Sukhadia’s is a one of its kind, sui generis for Sweets and Snacks.
It is usually "OK" for fast food but it seems we caught them with their pants down this time.
If you are visiting Devon then make a stop at Sukhadia’s and pick up your favorite snacks!
It seems wiser to avoid dining in on week days based on our experience.
Now, while you folks read this review, if you don't mind (or even if you do) let me refill my cup of mixture and stuff my mouth with a few more Sukhadia’s Chaklus.
Yummy! © ChicagoIndia.us
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