A chain of Indian restaurants, Honest Indian Street Food, that began in 1972 in Ahmedabad, India spearheaded by Vijay Gupta, has expanded to 39 franchises in the United States. Its latest retail store debuted in Greenwich Village on Bleecker and MacDougal streets in February 2022, owned by Parth Patel, who with his partners now owns three locations, including Clifton, N.J. and Mechanicsburg, Pa.
Its name, Honest Indian Street Food, emanates from the fact that it started as a street cart.
Ethnic food is growing, and an Indian chain, Honest Indian Street Food, is fast-expanding in the states and has just opened in Greenwich Village.
Patel dined on the food back in India, moved to Clifton, N.J., started in the franchise business and was eager to “introduce Honest to New York City,” he said.
One of the keys to its success, Patel noted, was, “We make all the food fresh. We prep the food that morning so the customer has fresh food, just like the original taste they’d get in street food.”
Many of the dishes, he also pointed out are “like appetizers and quick bites,” but the platters are much larger and contain full meals.
Patel says about 60% of his clientele is native-born Americans, but on weekends, more Indian families come in from the suburbs and stop there for a meal.
The night this reporter dined there, most of the clientele were Indian, and the platter portions were so large that one-third was brought home for leftovers. “Some dishes are meant for sharing,” Patel noted.
The three most popular dishes are spiced vegetable and mashed potato curry called bhaji pav; the chef’s special fusion dosa (a thin pancake) with veggies, cheese and spices, and its four-layer sandwich of potatoes, chutneys, pineapple jam, cheese and veggies (bahubali sandwich).
Asked who the target audience is, Patel replied, “Honest appeals to any age and every race. The fact the food is never frozen and always made fresh to order carries an authentic Indian taste to it.”
On Yelp, reactions to Honest Indian Street Food were almost all positive. Krithika noted that “The food tasted like the street stalls in India.” She said few Indian eateries have “chaat (umbrella term for roadside food) as they do.”
Another guest named Vee pointed out that the dishes “were on the spicy side, but hey, what’s Indian food, without the extra heat. It’s a great place to hangout with friends, for a quick bite.”
Asked what will determine its future success, Patel invokes a common refrain: we try to keep the food consistent and fresh.