One of Irving’s top two places for chaat, along with Taj Chaat, is Bombay Chowpatty, named after a beach lined with street food vendors. The dining room showcases some of that airy atmosphere, with seats arranged food-hall style around a central open kitchen and many of the walls plastered with beach photos and Bollywood posters. All that openness has taken on a new feel during the pandemic, but you can always order takeout sandwiches and snack packs online. Pav bhaji is a superb order here, as are the bit-of-everything lunch combos. If you just need a snack, go for sabudana vada, deep-fried patties of sago pearls, whole-seed spices and chives; they have the crisp bubbly texture of good tater tots. The fusion items, like a pizza dosa and pineapple-chocolate-cheese sandwich, are just as wild as they sound, so order with caution.
Top pick: If you’re in the mood for a sandwich, skip the European-style sandwiches on white bread and order a frankie, a rolled-up paratha filled with chopped veggies and spices. The paneer frankie here is a reliable and filling vegetarian lunch.
The downside: The menu boards in person and on the online ordering system don’t really describe the foods on offer, so if you’re still unfamiliar with the world of Indian snack foods, do a bit of research before you go.
Fun fact: Bombay Chowpatty is one of the few restaurants in the Dallas area with a Jain menu. Because Jain people believe in total nonviolence to all living creatures, their vegetarianism excludes foods grown underground, like onions, to avoid harming small insects by harvesting roots or tubers. ($)