Tadka and Ipotli: Go Indian for dinner, lunch, and … breakfast?

A Lake Street bistro and skyway grab-and-go will spice up your whole day

We had some good dishes at Tadka, but all the curries, dals, and chaats left me with an unshakable craving for dosas, the Indian version of a crepe, usually made with fermented rice batter, and Tadka didn't have them on the menu. So naturally we would have to take to the ... skyway? Strange but true, there is a great little Indian grab-and-go place above street level at Sixth and Marquette called Ipotli (get it? Like Chipotle, and the logo looks almost identical) Indian Grill. It's mostly doing standard takeaway food for lunch and dinner, such as chicken tikka masala, curry bowls, and vegetable biryani, but I was most intrigued by the fact that it serves something that, as far as I know, no other local Indian restaurant does: breakfast.

If you're really fanatical about Indian flavors and don't dig on sweet pastries and cereals for breakfast, Ipotli offers a superb start to your morning. Naturally probiotic, fairly low-sugar mango lassis and homemade almond milk make interesting and refreshing alternatives to coffee (which Ipotli does serve, but with a Dunn Bros. so close by there's no point in ordering it there). They do doughnuts here, too, but instead of being coated with powdered sugar, Ipotli's are savory and served with a vibrant green, chile-steeped, lentil-based sauce for dipping. You can also get them with a little plain yogurt to help tone down the heat of the sauce. Doughnuts and coffee are all well and good, but the shining stars of the Ipotli breakfast menu are the dosas. There's the lentil oatmeal dosa, the egg dosa (like a fluttery, paper-thin plain omelet wrapped in a rice and lentil crepe), and the outstanding spicy dosa. Why hasn't anyone started a dosa food truck? Send me a link to that Kickstarter project and I promise I will back it, especially if you can replicate these lacy-edged spicy dosas. Two lentil crepes are melded together by a thin layer of fiery tomato-based paste, folded into quarters for easy handling, and served with the same doughnut dipping sauce. Even if you don't take the skyway to work, these are worth going out of your way for.

Tadka has a knack for creating great vegetarian food, like these pakoras
Emily Utne
Tadka has a knack for creating great vegetarian food, like these pakoras

Both Tadka and Ipotli have their share of scratches and dents, but there is definitely room for both of them in our restaurant scene: Tadka, for its ability to pump out some excellent vegetarian delights in a friendly, family-owned atmosphere,  and Ipotli for bringing a portable feast of Indian flavors to our often sterile skyway system. No more settling for a muffin in the morning: Dosas are a breakfast revelation.

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5 comments
JS
JS

Ipotli is one of my favorite spot for Indian food in skyway.

Bigben2014
Bigben2014

Ipotli is not good Indian food. If you want good Indian food in the skyway go to Bombay bistro or India express above the old kierans.

Ramsurala
Ramsurala

Best place for Breakfast/Lunch and Dinner is KabobsIndianGrill . Excellant food with great quality and best price

Morchellampls
Morchellampls

Problem is with Ipotle's breakfast is that it doesn't seem to open until well after 8am when everyone is already at work.... I even stood inside the door one morning and was looked at so strangely by the employee that I walked out without saying anything. Good point about the dosa truck: I've been pitching a dosa cart to A.J. from Bombay Bistro for a few years and would love to have help persuading him!

Uhoh, I know that address
Uhoh, I know that address

Is Tadka wholly unaffiliated with Delights of India, the former Indian restaurant in the same space? That's the only way I'd consider eating there. I never thought an Indian restaurant could go so wrong.

 
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