Saturday, January 15, 2011

New North Hills 'Chaat center' isn't about talking, but eating

Local food entrepreneur Prasad Potluri is bringing the concept of chaat center, or snacking place, to Pittsburgh.

He hopes to open it on Perry Highway in McCandless on Jan. 26, which is Republic Day in India. It's a former pizza place adjacent to the newest of his three Manpasand Spice Corner Indian food stores, but it's not going to be a full restaurant like his three Tamarind restaurants.
The idea is to serve snacks such as samosas, idlis, vada, mini dosas, poori, pakoras and other fritters, bhelpuri and other chaat -- savory small plates of street-food-type fare that customers can take away or savor while they shop.

"This would give a better exposure to the unusual items we do not find at our restaurants," says Mr. Potluri, who also plans to move his weekly Curry Point service -- prepared foods for pickup -- to this location, and so it will offer some curries.

Mr. Potluri, who is from Vijayawada, explains how people there tend to eat dinner late, so after work and after school, "they have to have their snack" -- with their tea.

The snack center is part of the new Manpasand Spice Center store at 10293 Perry Highway, McCandless (724-935-1115). The other stores are in Robinson and Scott
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