Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Chutney Rolls Brings Fast Casual Indian to Little Italy

Chutney Rolls quietly opened their doors in August, bringing their Indian fusion bistro to a brick-and-mortar restaurant on Murray Hill Road. Their business had an interesting start at the local business incubator, The ShakerLaunchhouse, before debuting their wraps and smoothies at the Shaker Farmer's Market. Gaining confidence and momentum at several festivals and farmer's markets throughout the summer, the result is the space that they now call "home" in Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood.

I was invited to come and check them out, so "R" and I drove over last night. Indian is one of my favorite cuisines, and their menu looked small but tempting. It didn't take much convincing to get us over there. Free street parking is available, and there is a small lot behind the storefront. When you enter, you are greeted by a counter and chalkboard menu. The steps to ordering are clear, and our only problem became what to get when several items sounded so good.
We started with two orders of Mini Samosas- Potato and Peas and Spinach and Paneer (two for $1.50).
Pictured above are the Spinach and Paneer, but they look exactly the same until you bite into them. Both versions were good, but I slightly preferred the Potato and Peas. It had a bit more flavor. The dough wasn't too thick, which often causes samosas to be dry and bland for my taste. This was not the case here! It was a tasty start to the meal, and a nice side dish option if you're ordering a roll. If you're dining there for dinner, you may need more than just a roll. They aren't huge.

"R" and I were both drawn to the Murgi Tikka- chicken marinated in yogurt and spices ($6.45) and Palak Paneer- sauteed spinach with cubes of savory cheese ($6.15), so we decided to order both as rolls and split them. Dining Deals Alert! 

Murgi Tikka:
Palak Paneer:
All wraps are topped with a crunchy cabbage salad, paired with a zesty lemon dressing, a tangy tamarind chutney, and fresh cilantro chutney.

A bit messy to eat, but delicious. Some traditional Indian flavors with great texture, all wrapped up in a flaky blanket. It was thinner and flakier than naan I've had, but held up well to the wrap's contents. The chicken was a little dry, but we poured some of the leftover sauce from the samosas on it, and that helped significantly. The spinach was moist and flavorful in the Palak Paneer.

I'd love to go back to try a rice bowl. You can order any of their dishes as a roll, rice bowl, or salad bowl. They have four options, with additional rotating daily specials. There are also two other appetizers, and a variety of signature beverages to order from.

The small restaurant is designed for quick and easy service. It struck me as an Indian version of Chipotle, with its ordering system and line assembly. There are only five tables and two high-tops, and it was cute inside.
I was having flashbacks to college. With its close proximity to campus, we were clearly the only non-students dining there. It also reminded me of our beloved Pita Pit, which I still crave to this day.

Delivery is available, and they are catering as well.

Overall, it was tasty, casual, quick, and cheap. Perfect for what we needed that night. For my personal taste, I'd love the option to increase the heat level of the food. Perhaps some sauces on the side to kick it up a notch? A fun addition to the neighborhood, I could see this business growing. I'd love to see a west side location! We'll be back, for sure.

Chutney Rolls
2218 Murray Hill Road
Cleveland, OH

Disclosure: I was contacted by a student that is helping Chutney Rolls with their marketing efforts, asking that I come in and review the restaurant. I paid for my own meal, and all opinions stated are 100% my own.


ClevelandPoet said...

I am so looking forward to trying this.