Cafe India – 605-A S. 1st St., Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Open every day from 11am to 9pm

It occurred to me that I should eat at a place at least twice before writing a review, and seeing how often I eat (like most humans) and what a struggle it is for me to write (like many humans), that shouldn't be a difficult stretch. Sometimes your first visit to a place is on an off day, and it shouldn't be condemned because of that, and likewise, as in the case of Cafe India, the initial visit might be overly magical. I first ate here on a wet and cold spring evening just after I'd fallen on my elbow in the bed of a moving truck, and I sat at the table with my right arm in a bag of gas station ice while I ate an order of Chicken Biryani with my left hand. The best meal I've ever had. And I've thought about that Chicken Biryani every time I've passed this place since. The “A” in the address is because it's in a little hell-hole plaza with a gas station, convenience store, car wash, etc. in a part of up-and-coming Walker's Point that isn't nice yet. Of course I ordered the same on my return visit, in spite of an extensive and enticing menu, and of course it didn't live up to the first time, as I sat sweating in the humidity, the spiciness soaking my head like a madman. I didn't mind the takeout container and plastic fork so much once I decided to take half of it home, where later in the day it was even better. With the bright lights, gas station bathroom, loud TVs, and tables that probably get cleaned off at best once a day, this place is right up there—for food vs. atmosphere gap—with any place in town, because yes, it was delicious enough that I'm now, while writing this, longing for more. I'd also like to try the rest of the menu.

Richard Skiller 7.26.18