The Bombay Grille

There’s no doubt Indian cuisine does not readily spring to mind when considering suitable restaurants for kids. In fact, for many parents, the presence of hot spices, strange tastes and the
probable absence of crayons unequivocally consigns this option to the absolutely, positively never category. I can almost hear you mumble to yourself, “Ill-advised decision-making like this would condemn us to an evening teetering on the edge of utter purgatory!” A little over-stated but you get my drift.

But should it? If my family’s recent experience of the top-rated Bombay Grille is anything to go by, then perhaps curry deserves some inclusion in your future deliberations.

Located in the Tower Place Shopping Center on Pineville-Matthews Road, there is nothing distinguishable about the restaurant itself; the internal décor offers little to grab the eye, and its position in a fairly nondescript strip mall smacks of a mediocre dining experience. But superficialities like this have no real bearing.

Once seated, our attentive waiter wasted no time in getting food to our table. Papadums, traditional Indian flat breads, are served with three different chutneys: fresh mint and cilantro; spicy onions in a tomato base; and a tamarind paste. They are excellent munchies with which to relax and peruse the menu. And the menu takes some perusing. There are infinite choices of vegetarian, chicken, lamb and seafood entrees together with my favorite, the tandoori (clay oven) selections. Our waiter suggested some lightly spiced options for the kids . . . we chose a plain nan bread and chicken makhani — clay oven roasted, then folded into a creamy tomato sauce. The jaded parent-types decided on chicken tikka masala; lamb rogan josh; and the freshly baked, sublime peshwari nan — a leavened bread stuffed with cherry, cashew nuts, almonds, raisins and coconut.

This represented a good introduction to traditional Indian cuisine for our young children. Our 7- and 8-year-old boys seemed content enough without any noticeable whining, and our 3-year-old daughter is a complete rice fiend, so no problems there either. Almost all the entrees can be spiced mild, medium or hot, so you decide. The absence of crayons never became an issue either; in fact, this turned into a positive with more family conversation at the table.

I can’t overstate the quality of food coming out of this restaurant. Occasionally, I am fortunate enough to eat food that compels the eyes to involuntarily roll skyward as the taste buds deal with each mouthful. Food such as this abounds here. A further representation of quality is the abundance of Indian guests also dining. Go at the weekend for the lunch buffet ($8.95) or during the week ($7.95).

The Chow Down

Dollar deal: Weekend lunch buffet ($8.95)
Kid-friendly: Yes
Noise level: Pleasing background Indian music
Décor/Atmosphere: Traditional Indian, predominantly dark in color/upbeat and busy
Kiddie fare: Excellent waiters point you in the right direction
Anything healthy on the kiddie menu?: No kids menu, but plenty of mild vegetarian and chicken entrees from which to choose.
Parent fare: The lamb or chicken biryani is outstanding – comes with aromatic basmati rice. The marinades are also wonderful.
Bathroom amenities: Clean
High chair/booster cleanliness: Good
Got milk/juice?: juice
Address: Tower Place Shopping Center
8706 Pineville-Matthews Road
Phone: (704)-542-3933
Web site:
Clean Plate Score: 4 (out of 5)