Tandoor Hut: Indian Comfort Food

Local Editor Mary Ann Lopez enjoyed lunch with reader Maureen Thomas at Tandoor Hut.

As a kid my diet revolved around PB & J, hamburgers and bologna and mustard sandwiches. I wouldn’t eat any Mexican or ethnic food until I was at least in junior high. I didn’t even like pasta.

Luckily, my tastes evolved and I became a little more adventurous.

When it comes to Indian food, I think many diners are wary, kind of like their old fourth grade self, afraid to even taste the food. Maybe it’s the textures or appearance of the food. Or, the fear that everything will be blow the roof off spicy.

Find the right Indian restaurant and you find a treasure. I think I’ve found exactly that here in Naperville.

Recently I dined with Maureen Thomas, the owner of BusinessWrite Associates, a consulting firm, which offers a wide variety of corporate communications and marketing services. We talked about food and business while dining at .

Tandoor Hut is located in a strip mall on Route 59, near Montgomery Road. The atmosphere at the restaurant is pretty basic, there’s nothing fancy about Tandoor Hut. It’s really about the food more than the experience. Maureen thought that it was a good place to get take-out rather than a destination dining experience.

Maureen said she and her husband used to enjoy Indian food when they lived in the city, but since moving to the suburbs, hadn’t really explored local Indian fare.

If you are new to Indian Food, Tandoor Hut is a great place to start. The employees and owner are very helpful and will explain what is in the various dishes so that there are no surprises. And, if you want to try something to see if it is to your taste, they will give you a small sample.  

I would also say that looks may be deceiving. Some of the dishes, which are kind of like stews, may not look visually appealing to our typical American food eating sensibilities. I say step out of your routine and expand your horizons.

When Maureen and I visited on a Wednesday at noon we were in time to order “The Platter,” which lets diners choose any of the items of their choice from the menu. We received small, but decent sized servings of any item we wanted. We tried just about everything.

The Platter is offered from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. There is a vegetarian ($9.99) and non-vegetarian version ($12.99).  Whether you choose the platter or one of the combo meals, all the prices on the menu are reasonable. We chose the most expensive item.

Our choice allowed us to sample the menu, including the meat and vegetarian items.  There were only a few vegetarian items we didn’t try.

What we learned as we explored the menu was that everything was good. I believe both Maureen and I tasted one item we weren’t fond of, but not because it was bad, it just wasn’t to our taste — I think it was just a tad bit too spicy for both of us and we both like spicy food.

Overall, Maureen thought that the food was “adventurous and spicy.”

I would call it Indian comfort food.

Some items on the menu are on the spicier side, if spicy isn’t your thing, be sure to ask first. The entrees change daily and not every item is listed on the menu.

I think the naan is wonderful. Naan, for those who have never eaten Indian food, is a flatbread, which I guess you could liken to a tortilla. It is perfect for eating with many of the dishes, which since they are saucy or stews, you will want to be sure to soak up.

Both Maureen and I really enjoyed the butter chicken, which wasn’t really spicy, but very tasty. We also enjoyed a vegetarian stew made of vegetables including peas. That item didn’t look enticing, but was really tasty. The rice was good, but it is hard to mess rice up.

We also tried dessert. They have a pre-packaged ice cream-like dessert, but I’d say pass that up. It wasn’t great and they don’t make it on site. They do make gulab jamun (.99 cents for one), which is deep fried dough in sweet syrup. The closest thing I could compare it to would be flan. It was very sweet, but not overly heavy as some desserts can be. It’s a great way to end the meal.

I could try to provide you with all the Indian names of the items, but I have to be honest, it is better to just ask what is in the dish when you arrive, that is unless you are an Indian food expert, which I am not. But, I do know good food when I taste it. Whether you know your tikka from your masala, it doesn’t matter. The food at Tandoor Hut is worth trying again and again.

“This is the real deal made by people from India/South Asia,” Maureen said. “Authentic!”


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