Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Review: Indian Palace Restaurant in Heidelberg

(I wrote this a bit ago and am just now getting to posting it)

We'd been craving samosas since the weekend, so Tuesday night Damon and I decided to go out for some Indian food. The weather wasn't cooperating so we decided to stick to the nearby Altstadt, which has, so far as we know, 2 or 3 cheap Indian places and one expensive one. Previously we'd only tried the cheap ones and hadn't made a decision on where to go on this particular night. When it started pouring (again) on our way there, we decided to just go to whatever place we found first. It happened to be the expensive one, Indian Palace.

At first we thought that we might not be able to eat there because it appeared that there was a private party going on. A buffet was set out on a white-tableclothed table and everybody there was Indian. However, Damon found some free tables and Germans ordering off the menu in the back, so we picked our way through the Indian party crowd to a seat. We noticed they were all speaking English and drinking tap water.

We perused the menu for a while and finally a server came to take our order. Damon started to ask him something auf Deutsch, but got a little lost partway through and, based on our earlier observation of all the English-speaking Indians, slipped into English. The server seemed okay with that. We ordered our dishes and then Damon asked for tap water. The guy became very clearly upset, which was surprising to us, having noted everyone at the Indian party tables drinking it. It sounded like he wanted to curse at us and was grasping for more acceptable mean things to say, throwing up his hands and looking to the heavens, making a face of clear revulsion. He then told us we could order bottled water with or without gas. Damon asked for tap water again, and the server stalked off in a huff without another word. He then proceeded to say nothing to us the rest of the night. Rather sad, because the food was pretty good. He was relatively nice to the bottled-water-ordering table next to us, though. I'd like to extend a hearty "bite me" to our server at Indian Palace in Heidelberg. Next time, we'll eat over at the Taj Mahal.

I never fancied myself a restaurant-reviewing type before. Most food is fine for me. Since getting here though I keep finding myself full of commentary...


  1. how could you tell they were drinking tap water? and what is bottled water "with or without gas"?

  2. Ditto what Sara said - maybe they (the Indian group) were drinking bottled water without gas?

    Sara - bottled water is usually carbonated over here, so without gas would be uncarbonated water.

  3. They were drinking water out of big clear pitchers and squat little glasses. Those who had ordered bottled water had nice glasses and the bottle at the table. When we got our tap water it was also in a squat little glass. The water they were drinking was also definitely not carbonated. I would be really surprised if they had dumped several bottles of water into pitchers to be served, but I suppose it is possible.

  4. I get that reaction sometimes too when I ask for tap water. You'd think I asked for us free champagne or something.

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  6. What an ass... I'm boycotting the Indian Palace next time I'm in town.

  7. They just weren't making enough money from you. When you typically turn one seating a night, you need to sell all the extras you can, and it is assumed that being the locals, you have enough money for the extras.

  8. Naechstehaltestelle: Sometimes the water costs about as much as champagne...

    Sara: Yeah, I upgraded to the newer version of the template that allows adding/removing of format pieces. Still too lazy to come up with my own format, though!

    Eurotrippen: Right on...I haven't tried the other "nice" one yet though, have you?

    Mike B: I understand the reasoning, but I don't know why he had to be an asshole about it...I guess that the reduced importance and influence of tipping here allows waitstaff to be as jerky as they wanna be.


I love commenters!