Gharer Khabar, Arlington, VA

It has been a long time since I’ve been in a full-service restaurant as inexpensive as Gharer Khabar. I phoned in an order (biryani, paratha, raita), and when I went to pick it up, the gentleman told me it was $9.


I reached into my wallet and pulled out a $10 and a $1, and handed the bills to him. He handed the $1 back, and said “It’s $9.” I didn’t have any problem politely refusing the money.

 This is a bizarre restaurant, with a chalkboard-only menu (they don’t even have a carryout menu), and only one item priced over $7 (the goat biryani is $9).

 My Chicken Biryani ($7) is a lot of food for the money, and is essentially a mound of rice – blissfully unoiled – some of it tinted yellow, and containing a drumstick and a back. That’s all it is, save for a few green chilis. There’s nothing complex or intriguing about it at all, and yet it’s something that I would order again because it’s clean.

 The Paratha ($2, I assume) is very good, and also free of excessive oil (which is not always the case for this bread). The two dishes together were downright bland, but I have to emphasize that they’re also very clean, with nothing about them that would make you feel guilty.

The Raita – which I’m assuming was gratis – was two little tubs of greenish, herbed yogurt, way too sweet for me. The gentleman told me he made it just for me (this is definitely not standard northern Indian fare).

 Based on this one meal, I would highly recommended Gharer Khabar for a starving student that wants something more elevated and healthy than fast food. At this price, I’m a repeat customer. They’re going to have to get carryout menus in order to survive (there’s a fairly significant language barrier on the phone, enough so where I wasn’t even sure I had reached the restaurant).

 I’ll be curious to hear other opinions about this restaurant – I don’t think you’ll regret giving it a try because there’s so little to lose.

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