The Rapidian

Pal's Indian Cuisine offers authentic tastes at budget prices

Pal's Indian Cuisine is a rare, hidden dining experience in Grand Rapids with Hardeep Singh’s personal recipes.

Address & Contact Information

2915 28th Street Southeast
Grand Rapids MI 49512

 

Open All Week: 
11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
5 p.m. - 10 p.m.

 

Toll Free Phone: (866) 885-9354
Facebook: Pal's Indian Cuisine

 

Pachraga subzi and meatball curry on rice beds with delicious fried nan

Pachraga subzi and meatball curry on rice beds with delicious fried nan /Russ Pontius

Don't let the exterior fool you; the food inside is amazing.

Don't let the exterior fool you; the food inside is amazing. /Russ Pontius

Tucked away into a drab brown strip mall on 28th street, Pal’s Indian Cuisine does not look like a place where you would find actual cuisine. Pal’s is one of those rare finds that proves surface level impressions cannot always be trusted.

Pal’s offers authentic Indian cuisine, the recipes belonging to owner and proprietor Hardeep Singh. Singh worked as a chef at Bombay Cuisine for seven years before opening Pal’s Indian Cuisine three years ago. I’ve been to Bombay Cuisine, which offers amazing food - however I’ve come to prefer Pal’s. It’s atmosphere is homey – it isn’t trying to impress anyone with extra posh or flash. Instead, Pal’s lets the food do the talking, and the price tag is extremely reasonable at $8.99 for an all you can eat buffet which alters its selection daily.

Inside, I’m greeted by the sound of Indian pop music. The restaurant is small, sporting several booth tables with the buffet to the left. I note that the floors and tables are clean, and that Singh is present at his usual booth in the back. Pal’s offers an expansive dinner menu such as chicken saag, kadhi pakora and vegetable biryani, but for this visit, I can’t steer myself away from the buffet – especially after the friendly server informs me that today the buffet features chana daal.

Chana daal is prepared by soaking lentils or beans and removing the outer husk, which resembles corn kernels when cooked and is almost unheard of here in the West. Singh tells me that this particular Daal is “Masala Daal” because he uses garbanzo beans. The daal is exactly what I’d hoped for, providing the two tiered wave of flavor I’ve come to expect from Singh’s cooking. It has a rich smoky quality and dark flavor, with just a hint of spark at the tip of my tongue. As the second wave comes I can feel the dark flavor settle in, pinging against my taste buds. The heat comes on slow and at its apex. It’s just right, especially for my sensitive palette.

My biggest problem while dining at Pal’s is that there are too many options. Everything looks like it deserves a taste, from the paneer masala with its smooth flavor and light slow burn to the tandoori murg with its dry heat and beautiful red and pink color. Even the meatball curry, which strikes me as an Americanized dish, tastes great. By the time I’ve hit plate three, choosing different dishes with each trip, I begin to feel that I’m not paying enough.

Though the food steals the show, the service I’ve experienced at Pal’s has always been top notch. I’ve never lacked for a full cup while at Pal’s, and my empty plates always seem to vanish before I return from the buffet. When the server brings me the check, I can’t help but feel that I’ve robbed the place. For $11.43 I have shamefully eaten enough for three adult humans, and I am more than satisfied.

After I manage I to pull myself away from the table, I speak with Singh, who tells me that he also caters for personal and business events, and that the restaurant is doing well enough that in a year, he’ll be ready to host banquet events. To me, this is good news – Pal’s Indian Cuisine is one of Grand Rapid’s hidden gems, and it is nice to know it is solidifying its place in the community.

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.

Browse