Shorewood bar Cloud Red (4488 N. Oakland Ave.) stops traffic with its chalkboard menu of casual, veggie-heavy plates. Some dishes are seasonally swapped out. But the Bhel Bowl has caught on so well that it’s never leaving the menu.
Owner Rebecca Goldberger says the crispy-creamy concoction was inspired by an Indian appetizer from the long-gone-but-not-forgotten restaurant Dancing Ganesha. This tribute is one to crunch on through the ho-hummiest days of late winter and early spring.
What it Is
The bhel bowl (1) is a chopped salad with amped-up texture and flavor, thanks to Indian and Israeli influences. Eat it with a fork or scoop it up with warm pieces of naan.
Raw cucumbers, tomatoes and red onions with warm, soft cooked potato (2) form the base. Then the crispy part! Indian lentil noodles, chickpea puffs, peanuts and rice crisps (3).
To balance the salty snack mix in the salad, Goldberger folds in a spicy cilantro chutney “dressing” (4) that contains chopped dates (5) for sweetness. Greek yogurt topping tempers it all.