When it comes to Indian food, our experiences are pretty limited. We usually ask what’s vegetarian and end up gobbling on that. Unfortunately we generally end up declaring everything too spicy and chugging Pepto-Bismol like in college, when it was a permanent fixture in our tote bag next to books written by dead Victorians and Marlboro Lights. However, we’re trying our best to branch out and explore a taste of India without letting our nervous stomach get the best of us. We came upon Cafe Of India in picturesque Harvard Square during Oktoberfest, an overcrowded and bizarre street festival in Cambridge that featured everything from the world’s longest couch to an Israeli dance troupe swirling around in front of the cafe’s open front.
While we may not know that much about Indian food, we’ve always adored naan, the unleavened bread baked in Tandoor spices. We suggest Cafe of India’s Punjabi Paratha, a multi-layer wheat version griddle-cooked with butter. That’s only one version of the Cafe’s many flavors of naan. We also savored the delicious shrimp Biryani, a rich blend of saffron flavored Basmati rice cooked with shrimp, almonds, cashews, raisins, and garnished with fresh coriander. While we have to admit the waiters didn’t really care about how fast they served us, the comfortable atmosphere was definitely worth the wait. With a full bar to boot and a daily lunch buffet, Cafe of India will definitely be one of our favorite spots to frequent when we wander down Battle Street again.