For the past several weeks, rumors have been swirling that Pondicheri, the restaurant in West Ave. where chef/owner Anita Jaisinghani blends classic Indian diner food with great local ingredients, is set to expand. If the plan comes to fruition, the restaurant will add a bakery, cafe and dry goods component in a space immediately above its current location next summer.
When asked for comment, a manager, after consultation with Jaisinghani, acknowledged the rumors but said no plans have been finalized.
That Pondicheri would expand should come as no surprise to Houstonians; the restaurant is widely regarded as one of the best in Houston. Among the diverse offerings, the baked goods and pastries are particularly well thought of. CultureMap recently named it one of Houston's best spots for cookies, and the other breads and sweets are equally delicious. Its three-meals-a-day utility, adventurous menu and reasonable prices have earned it praise from many corners, including food writer John T Edge in the July/August issue of Departures magazine. He cited it as one of the reasons why he thinks "Houston boasts the most dynamic and diverse food and drink scene in the nation."
Pondicheri is the more casual counterpart to Indika, where former Cafe Annie pastry chef Jaisinghani blends modern techniques with classic Indian fare. She opened Pondicheri in 2011 to diversify her offerings.