Milwaukee's best Indian/Pakistani restaurant, 2016
For the 10th straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee, presented by the restaurants of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, dining guides, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as voting for your "Best of Dining 2016."
For 10 straight years, we've had this best of dining poll. And for 10 straight years, Maharaja has come out on top of the Best Indian/Pakistani category – with no competition in sight for this latest win, scoring over 200 more votes than the next closest finisher, Cafe India.
Even after a decade of ruling this category, it seems Milwaukee still just can't get enough of Maharaja's delicious dishes, inspired by northern and southern Indian cuisine. Whether going for one of the restaurant's popular lunchtime buffets or for one of its signature plates – including the Seekh Kabab (minced lamb with onions and spices) and Reshmi Kabab Lahsooni (chicken breast with cream, yogurt and spices), both cooked in the clay tandoor oven – the flavors clearly keep Milwaukeeans coming back for more.
Cafe India, Taj Mahal, Shah Jee's and Tandoor wrapped up the rest of this very flavorful top five.
Will Maharaja be able to make it another decade on top? We'll have to wait and find out, but in the meantime, we'll just keep eating.
Lori Fredrich's pick: Anmol
I've been a pretty big fan of Anmol for years now, and they seldom disappoint. You can't go wrong with the pakora or chicken makhani, and don't be afraid to order the goat or mutton curries; they're delicious. A bonus is that the na'an bread is some of the best in the city.
This year we also asked a variety of prominent Milwaukeeans to weigh in on their pick for specific categories. For this category, we consulted Ami Bedi, former owner of Dancing Ganesha.
Bedi's pick: Indian Village
People often ask me where to go for good Indian food in the Milwaukee area, and I haven't always had a good answer other than my mother's kitchen table. In the past decade, the number of options has exploded, but it has become very clear that all of them are not created equal.
Indian Village, however, is a standout, and I finally can tell people with confidence that the food there is fantastic. It's not a fancy place, but it doesn't need to be when the food is the star and the staff is warm and attentive. Dishes are not floating in oil, overly sweet or overly heavy, so you can eat a feast and not leave feeling like you have to take a nap. The vegetarian options are bright, complex and subtly nuanced – especially the sarson ka saag (mustard greens). You can taste the care that went into layering the flavors and creating a balance. There are several seafood and meat options, including lamb and goat, and the goat vindaloo is a standout. The deep fried appetizers are not greasy, and the homemade condiments (standouts are pickled chilis and cilantro chutney) and flatbreads remind me of the flavors of childhood.
If I have a hankering for Indian food – and I don't want to cook or my mom isn't available – Indian Village will definitely do the trick.
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