Posted by: Sean Carter | January 7, 2014

#175: ZS Indian Market & Chaat house

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Tonight I wanted to do something relatively quick.  I picked out one of the newest places on my list, ZS Indian Market and Chaat House.  This Indian Market is located on Pleasant grove near Foothills, just behind that new little Starbucks drive-thru stand.  They opened back in late October.  Obviously, in addition to the market side of things, you can order food to go or to eat there.

I arrived at about 4:50PM and headed in.  I was greeted by the owners upon walking through the doors.  Both were very friendly.  I headed to the counter, where one of them was standing, to take a closer look at the menu.  I told him I had no idea what I wanted and asked if he had any recommendations.  He asked if I liked spicy food and I replied that I did like things a little spicy.  He pointed out the wraps and also suggested the Samosa Chaat from the Chaat side of the menu.  I took a minute or two to read pretty much the entire menu.  Most of it is small items for $2-4.  The meals, most of which are wraps, were all $5.  The meals come with fries and and a soda (which I did not realize right away).

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He pointed out that his wife, behind the register towards the front, would take my order when I was ready.  I headed over there and told her I would have the Tandoori Wrap (Tandoori chicken [thigh meat] with veggies, onions & mint chutney, wrapped in plain paratha) [$4.99]  as well as the Samosa Chaat (Vegetable samosa [potato shells] with spicy garbanzo curry, onions, sweet & spicy chutney & cilantro).  This comes in a full plate [$3.99] or a half plate [$2.50].  I asked her how big the half vs the full was as well as the wrap.  After she showed me generally how big each one was using her hands I decided to go nuts and do the full order.  Not realizing that my wrap came with fries and a soda, I also ordered a mango lassi.  I chatted (ha) with her for a bit about my project to eat everywhere and then she called my order over to the kitchen.  Right before I had ordered I noticed a sign on the register saying cash only for transactions under a certain dollar amount(can’t recall how much), and I panicked internally for a moment because I realized that the prices were cheap enough that I wasn’t sure I would go over that.  It turned out I did have some cash on me, so I was fine, though I ended up spending just over $11 so it would have been OK anyway.  I took a couple photos and then a seat near the window.  I was asked what kind of drink I wanted, and that’s when I realized my mistake.  I opted for the bottle of water that was offered to me after I said that I didn’t need a soda.

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The Samosa Chaat took about 5 minutes to prepare.  Right before it was ready he confirmed with me from the kitchen that medium spicy was good and I said that sounded good.  I picked it up and grabbed a spork and some napkins.  As I turned around I saw that my mango lassi was also ready, so I also picked up a straw.  The full plate was…big.  Much bigger than I had anticipated.  A half order would have been PLENTY.  It was also much more intricate than I was expecting.  I was envisioning the standard crisp samosas sitting by themselves on a plate, but these were sitting in a sea of the garbanzo curry, covered sweet & spicy chutney, and sprinkled with little crispy noodley-looking bits, onions, tomatoes and cilantro.  The one thing I wish I had was a knife, as working my way through this with the spork by itself was a little bit of work.  This was incredibly flavorful.  Every last bit of it.  Everything was nice and hot, the samosas were crisp on the outside, and I was left with the perfect amount of spicy heat.  I almost ate the entire thing but forced myself to stop after about 80% as I realized I still had a wrap and fries on the way.  The mango lassi was pretty good.  It was chilled, though I felt like maybe it could have been a little colder.  It was a little more tart than others I’ve had in Roseville.

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Ten minutes after I had picked up my samosas from the counter, and pretty much exactly when I was finished with them, my tandoori wrap was ready.  I picked that up from the chef, and he followed behind me to bring me my bottle of water.  The wrap was a very reasonable size for the price, and I was actually glad to see that it wasn’t huge, because I was already kind of full from the samosas.  Cut in half, you could see the signature bright red color of the tandoori chicken inside.  I didn’t have any idea what paratha was, so I was expecting something similar to a typical wrap, like a tortilla.  This appears to have been lightly fried, or perhaps grilled?  I’m not sure, but it was warm, flakey and looked tasty.  I bit into the wrap and got a little bit of everything.  It was well constructed and the ingredients were evenly distributed.  The chicken was delicious.  Perfectly tender and flavorful.  The onions had a nice crunch and everything else was just right.  The mint chutney was very creamy, not what I had expected (perhaps it was something else?), but it was very good and worked well in the wrap.  I demolished both halves of this fairly quickly.  On the verge of exploding, I picked at the fries for a bit, which were nice and hot and mostly pretty crisp.  They were dusted with some kind of seasoning that I couldn’t put my finger on.  The ones that had the most were delicious.  The fries that didn’t have a lot were borderline boring.  Maybe needing a touch of ketchup.  It didn’t matter that much because I was stuffed and only ate a third of them anyway.

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I was very impressed with this little market.  Everything seemed to be fresh and made to order and was all very reasonably priced.  Kind of makes me wish I still worked over at HP so I could come get lunch here.  The owners were both fantastically nice and helpful in answering all of my questions and were very accomodating.  I very much recommend it.

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Responses

  1. Hey Sean, are the owners the same as the former Chaat Cafe, which was across Foothills from this new Chaat House/Market? This would be a great comeback story if it’s the same couple – the food was outstanding at the old Chaat Cafe, but they had to close up shop sometime around the end of 2010.

    • I have no idea if it’s the same people, sorry! I definitely missed out on Chaat Cafe. Back when I was just in the early stages of thinking about doing this mission I would drive by it all the time and think “Maybe I’ll check that out one day.”


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