The wife and I had to go to Schaumburg on Friday for some pretty specific errands and as my dislike for this particularly generic town is strong, I wanted to find something to sway me otherwise. Always be suspect of a town that doesn't have a real center. End of rant.
Pepper & Salt shares a standalone building with a cigar shop in the middle of a strip mall parking lot. Unassumingly looking like a combination of an old bagel store with a glass case and empty metal racks and a mid eighties red white and blue fast food shop. The ubiquitious satelite tv going in the background.
Things started good with a Pakola to drink. Smelled like bubblegum; green, kinda thick and carbonated but tastes like rosewater. Strange and delicious pop. They have a website but no listing of a rosewater flavored pop; lychee, pineapple, rasberry etc.
First we had Karachi Gosht and Karachi Chicken. Both were excellent. Technically the Ghost was supposed to be mutton, but it seemed more like lamb. Nice tender chunks and no bones like buffet style lamb dishes. Extremely tender and no hint of gameyness. The sauce was some mixture of ginger, chiles, tomatoes, chili powder, ghee and a myriad of other spices. Topped with cilantro it had a great depth of flavor and did not lack sweat inducing heat in the least. I would be scared to see what we got if we asked for "real Pakistani style." This was served with a side plate of lettuce, tomatoe and onion. We threw a few onions in for texture and chewed on the lettuce to cut the heat. The tandoori nan was blistered, crunchy and soft at the same time.
The next round of food included Goat Biryani and Veg. Samosas. Again, tender chunks of meat with little bone or gristle and fragrant rice studded with cloves, peppercorns and colored with tumeric. The samosas, stuffed with potatoes, peas and fleked with chilis, were the best we've had and based on the texture and timing, they were made fresh and served with the standard tag team of red tamarind and mint, ginger yogurt dipping sauces. Sorry I don't know the names, but the yogurt one was not raita. All in all an excellent meal and nothing on the menu is over $5.99.
The menu has a selection of some Indian standards but on the whole it seems to weigh in the favor of more Pakistani dishes. Again I am far from experienced in either of these cuisines, but I know good food when I taste it. Other selections included: Kat-a-Kat, Qeema, Nihari, Haleem, Paya under the Chicken and Mutton selections; A large choice of kabobs; and Bangun Bharta, Bhindi Subzi, Channay Salun under sides.
Pepper & Salt
2267 W. Schaumburg Rd