If you are ever in Houston and are hungry for something exotic and tastey, exit Highway 59 at Kirby, go north to Richmond, turn right, and on the left one will find one of India’s great import’s to Houston, Texas. The Khyber Grill has been serving Northern Indian food to hungry Houstonians of discriminating tastes for over a dozen years. It is considered by many the finest place to eat Indian food in Houston, if not in all of south east Texas,
Upon entering the Indian food establishment, one will be assaulted by the heady aroma of Indian spices and the sound of sizzling meat in the clay, tandoori ovens. If one is not already hungry for Indian food by that time, one will surely be within seconds of entering the Khyber Grill.
For an appetizer, one cannot go wrong with an order of samoosas, a flaky opastry filled with vegetables. A good alternative is an order of saag paneer, a kind of grilled cheese mixed with spices.
With the main meal, be sure to have some lassi, a kind of yogurt based shake. It comes sweet or salty, but this reviewer recommends the sweet.
For the main meal, one can order tandoori, a kind of North Indian barbeque. Bits of meat, such as chicken or lamb, are stuck on skewers and are grilled inside deep ovens made out of clay. The best the Khyber Grill has to offer is a garlicy Chicken Afghani. Chicken Tikka, and other tandoori dishes with lamb or sea food are also available.
Curry, a trdaitional staple of Indian food, is another good alternative. One can get them with chicken, lamb, or sea food in varying degrees of heat. The hottest curry would be a Vindaloo, which by all accounts is heavily spiced with gun powder. It is not for the faint hearted and should be accompanied by a full pitcher of water.
There are various vegetarian dishes available, including rice pillou. Main curry dishes come with sides of rice, raita (a kind of cool, yogurt salad) a cucumber and tomato based salad, and naan, a succulent Indian bread that is grilled in the tandoori oven. Orders of various kinds of naan, stuffed with onions or raisins and other good things, are also available.
There are some tasty desserts available as well. The rice pudding is especially delightful.
But sure to check the outside marquee. For more than seven years now, Khyber Grill’s Mickey Kapoor has been using his marquee to taunt the neighboring Pappadeaux’s. When the seafood restaurant wrote, “Hiring today 3 to 5,” Kapoor replied, “My, You Do Start Them Young!” When Pappadeaux posted, “Happy Hour 4 to 6,” Khyber responded, “DWI 8 to 12.” When the establishment bragged, “Our Softshelled Crabs Will Reach Out and Grab You,” Kapoor fired back, “Pervert!” People in Houston have been known to drive out of their way just to see what the restaurateur will come up with next, and so far the targets of Kapoor’s barbs have taken them all in good stride.