If you've attended Wade Oval Wednesday or visited the North Union Farmers Market at Shaker Square, you might have ordered a snack from Chutney Rolls. The year-old startup belongs to Indian-born Hrishue Mahalaha, a Case Western Reserve University graduate, who has done so well with the concept that he recently graduated to a bricks-and-mortar spot.
Just this week, Mahalaha unveiled Chutney Rolls at 2218 Murray Hill Road (216-721-2295, chutneyrolls.com) in Little Italy, in a pleasant storefront that was home to Teahouse Noodles.
"I'm a Case grad and I have always been passionate about this area," says Mahalaha." It makes sense for us to be a part of this community."
The heart of this quick-casual operation are the chutney rolls, an American-style spin that takes chewy, flaky paratha bread and uses it as wrap for Indian fillings like chicken tikka, paneer and spinach, and lamb korma. Those same fillings can also be ordered in a rice bowl or salad bowl, an increasingly common trend inspired by Chipotle.
"We take all the flavors, spices, and elements of Indian cuisine and combine them into wraps, bowls and salads," explains Mahalaha. "You will not see this in any other Indian restaurant."
The cute café would do well to approach its operations a bit more like a restaurant and less like a food cart. A pair of crisp potato and pea samosas ($1.50) are served on top of (not alongside) two chutneys in a Styrofoam bowl, soaking up both whether you like the sauces or not.
A spinach and paneer wrap ($5.95) could be more aggressively seasoned, but the filling is hot and plentiful, and the paratha bread is crisp, flaky and delicious.
Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner, Chutney Rolls will offer four standard and two special items daily. Chicken tikka is dry-rubbed and marinated in yogurt, garlic, and herbs. Lamb korma is marinated for 48 hours before it's cooked. Some of the dishes are vegan and vegetarian. Drinks include masala chai and sweet lassis.
"We want to cater to the whole spectrum," says Mahalaha.