Indian chaat at Chaat Cafe in San Jose, CA

It was a warm summer Friday night and we were in the mood for some chaat. Unfortunately, it was too late to drive up to Chaat Paradise in Mountain View or iChaat Cafe in Sunnyvale, our two preferred chaat locations. We turned to Yelp! and discovered that a chaat place called Chaat Cafe was located not too far from our house. It carried reasonable reviews and that was enough for the three of us to jump into the car for a quick and light dinner.

We entered the place around 7:30 and found that it was almost full. Soon enough, the place was packed and more people were streaming in. Like many other chaat places, we had to place our orders up at the counter and someone would deliver the food to our table. We werent sure of the spice levels for the little guy and asked for an extremely mild aloo paratha with raitha and a sweet lassi. For us, we ordered paneer pakoras, a papdi chaat and a samosa chaat. The menu seemed to carry most of the popular chaat items.

Food starting arriving pretty soon- one at a time. Much of it was served warm. The sweet lassi is hard to screw up and they didnt. The aloo paratha can with raitha- nice and warm and not spicy as requested. For once, someone who gets a kid specific request. The wife felt that the papdi chaat was a tad bland which was corrected with the a couple of the amply available small cups of tamarind and date chutney and a spicier mint chutney. I was a tad disappointed with the samosa chaat- it was too salty and spicy and had much too much chana. The paneer pakoras came in hot and again- thankfully not too spicy and kid friendly. Overall, we liked the place. We know what to specifically ask for the next time around. And there was nothing that would make us not want to come here again. A definitely acceptable local alternative for chaat when the urge strikes.

Rating:

Ambiance: 7.5/10. Completely uninspiring. Nothing that stands out. Everything is functional.

Service: 8.5/10. Food started arriving pretty soon after we placed our order. Given that the place was reasonably full, that was good.

Food: 8/10. Nothing extraordinary. Maybe a tad spicy on some things. But with the right kind of requests, I think they are pretty decent.

Price: 8.5/10. Very reasonable for a casual chaat place.

Restroom: 8.5/10. Clean and neat.

Overall: 8/10. Good place for a quick chaat bite in the neighborhood.