By Laura Marrich
Auspicious Chutney—In a city where restaurants open and close faster than a blinking eye (Starky's ABQ and California Witches are two recent examples of both), India Kitchen is a welcome anomaly. Saturday, April 7, marks the 25th anniversary of the restaurant.
When you achieve a quarter of a century, you best have yourself a party, "Just to let them know we've survived," says Rajul Gupta. She's personally run India Kitchen (6910 Montgomery NE, 884-2333) with her husband, Ajay, since it opened in 1982.
But maybe "thrived" is a better word. My first time at India Kitchen was prenatal—my mother took a vegetarian cooking class there when she was pregnant with me. I've been a regular, off-and-on, ever since. Rajul says the homey India Kitchen, which maintains a small, fragrant storefront of Indian culinary items, owes its success to a base of repeat customers that she affectionately describes as "die-hard."
"We feel very blessed," she says of the support. Though to the credit of the Guptas, India Kitchen has kept those customers coming back by cultivating one of the best vegetarian menus in town—what began as three dishes has mushroomed into the 25 pure vegetarian entrées they currently serve (and that's in addition to a healthy selection of lamb and poultry items). "And we keep coming up with more!" Rajul says.
To celebrate their prosperous tenure, the Guptas will hand free gifts to the first 50 customers that dine with them on Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7. In addition to the anniversary weekend freebies, India Kitchen will also reduce its usual $22 dinner-for-two special (which comes with a choice of the restaurant's most popular items: chicken with mango chutney and vegetarian saag paneer) to $15.95 for the whole month of April. Want more? They'll give a free dessert to anyone who wishes them a happy anniversary. Just try to keep it within reason—it'd be a shame to eat them out of business after lasting this long.
India Kitchen is open for dinner only, Tuesday through Sunday, from 5-9 p.m.
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