So Thomas decided to get rid of the point-and-order service that's been the model since Biju's opened five years ago in RiNo (Thomas shuttered that one last fall after the lease ended). Last month, he closed his restaurant at 4279 Tennyson Street for a week and remodeled the dining room just enough to give guests a new experience. Customers will still order at the counter, but they won't have a row of bins filled with toppings and ingredients to navigate. Instead, they'll just order from a menu that ranges from salads to stuffed roti (flatbread) to chicken, beef and veggie curries. All told, there are about a dozen options, so choice won't be an issue. Returning favorites include beef curry with potatoes, coconut chicken curry and Kerala fried chicken. And all of them offer the same riot of flavors and textures that has been the Biju's signature since day one. There's also a new coriander-crusted steak dish for those who want something a little high-end.
Cooke has also introduced banana fritters for dessert. "This is my grandmother's recipe," the chef notes, "only I was challenged to make it gluten-free." Cooke deep-fries whole bananas in their skins before peeling them and adding them to a rice and chickpea flour blend to make the fritters. "You'll get banana bread flavors, but also a whole lot more."
For the first time, Biju's is rolling out brunch, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday. Most of the flavors will be familiar to Biju's regulars, but new items include vindaloo bacon with scrambled eggs and masala potatoes; crisp tofu with sweet plantains, potatoes and coriander chutney; and a South African classic called "bunny chow": hollowed-out bread filled with a choice of three curries.
Thomas says the menu and dining room changes are intended to add value while providing more elegant platings than the heaping bowls that had previously been the standard. One thing that hasn't changed is the owner's commitment to serving a delicious array of South Indian cuisine tailored for modern restaurant crowds.
Biju's Little Curry Shop is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch, 5 to 9 p.m. for dinner Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for brunch on the weekends. Call 303-975-6886 or visit the restaurant's website for details.