IndiGrille is a fast-casual restaurant concept that offers affordable and authentic Indian fare.
“When you go to a traditional Indian restaurant, you have to commit to one thing because you get giant portions,” owner, Sid Maheshwari, told Axios last December. “We’re going to have smaller portions at a lower cost so people can try different things,” he added.
Why it matters: It’s like Chipotle or Shake Shack, but for Indian food.
- And there’s nothing like it in Charlotte, according to Maheshwari.
The menu: Expect traditional Indian favorites like chicken tikka masala, naan bread and palak paneer.
- There are essentially three meal options that are completely customizable: Curry and rice bowls, curry burritos and Kati rolls.
- You choose a curry, then your protein, toppings and sauces.
Yes, but: It’s not your typical fast-casual restaurant. All of the ingredients are made from scratch. “It takes more than two hours to make the gravy for the chicken tikka masala,” Maheshwari tells me.
What to order: If you’re looking for a traditional Indian meal, try the tikka masala curry and rice bowl ($12.99). The gravy has a bit of a kick to it.
- I ordered the tandoori chicken kati roll ($6.49), which I’m told is a staff favorite. The bread is like a mix of pita and croissant — flakey and soft.
Details: IndiGrille is located in the shopping center on Park and Woodlawn roads, where the Total Wine is.
- The address is 1600 E Woodlawn Rd #150 and it’s tucked away on the ground floor.
- It’s open Wednesday through Sunday from 11am to 8pm.
Context: This is Maheshwari’s first restaurant, but he’s no stranger to the kitchen. “I love feeding people,” he says. Maheshwari learned to cook from his parents, who’ve stayed connected to their Indian culture through the ingredients in their kitchen.
- The family immigrated to the United States from India in 1981 when he was 2 years old.
- “All three of us love to cook, we love to feed people,” he tells Axios, adding, that they often argue over who’s going to cook. Sometimes, he says, all three end up toiling away in the kitchen at the same time.
IndiGrille is Maheshwari’s passion project that’s becoming a reality because of the pandemic. He’s doing everything from scratch, even building the website using his “basic web developing skills,” and teaching himself along the way.
- “I work in the hotel industry, but when that took a hit last year, I decided to take a leap of faith,” he says.
- His wife was behind all of the interior decorating.
What’s next: Maheshwari hopes to extend the restaurant’s hours to six days a week, “Depending on staffing,” he said.
- In the next week, IndiGrille will be available to order on Uber Eats and Door Dash.
Take a look inside:
Editors note: This story was originally published on December 6, 2021, and was updated on May 13, 2022, to reflect the restaurant opening.