For weeks, people have been asking Balhar Choong: When’s your Indian pizza place opening up downtown?
“Not yet, not yet,” he would answer.
Choong is relieved to no longer have to field the question.
Pizza Palace, at 125 E. 10th St. — the spot next to Choong’s India Palace — opens on Wednesday, just in time for lunch and an unusual dining experience: Indian pizza.
Choong’s first restaurant specialized in Indian pizza in Boston more than 30 years ago, he said. He’s happy to once again provide a South Asian twist on the traditional Italian dish.
And the ingredients he’ll be offering are no longer a secret.
Pizza Palace’s toppings include chicken tikka, spiced tilapia and tandoori chicken. There’s roasted garlic, basil, cauliflower and paneer, an Indian cheese. Choong said many customers at India Palace avoid meat, and he wants Pizza Palace to be a go-to for vegetarians.
Custom pizzas include Indian style, garlic chicken, barbeque chicken and margherita. You’ll be able to create your own pizza, too. Sauces include traditional marinara, sweet chili, barbeque, white and butter sauce.
Traditional items such as wings and cheese sticks will be served alongside Indian-influenced twists such as masala chicken and paneer sandwiches and masala fries.
Though Choong knows a lot of people will choose to take out their food, there’s enough booth seating in the location — the former home of Archibowls — for 30 to 35 people upstairs and about 10 people downstairs.
Taking pride in his ingredients, Choong is eager to fill his seats with patrons.
“Everything is fresh, nothing is frozen,” he said.
Pizza Palace will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. every day but Tuesday.
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Chansi Long (she/her) reported for The Lawrence Times from July 2022 through August 2023. Read more of her work for the Times here.