Late-Night Scene: Bombay Pizza Co.

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Bombay Pizza Co. (914 Main Street) adds chutneys and tandoori flavors and make extremely unique -- and extremely delicious -- pizza.

Since it's a downtown destination, we chose to park for free in Midtown and catch the rail straight down Main Street to the Main Street Square exit. The restaurant was directly across from the stop. We were pushing closing time (11 on weekends), so we bounded in quickly. But instead of an annoyed glance at the clock by employees ready to begin their own weekend adventures, we were affably greeted by the owner, Viral Patel.

Earlier while waiting for the train, we'd perused the menu on our cell phone, so we were ready with our order for a "Saag Paneer 12-inch" At $15, it wasn't the cheapest pizza we'd ever ordered, but then again, we might have been wary if it had been. Patel also convinced us to try the delicious "kati roll," which is a big piece of naan chock full of cilantro-mint chutney, pickled onions, fresh cilantro and your choice of fillings. Though we were torn, we ended up choosing the paneer and egg combo over the sweet potato. It was $5.50 for one roll which we split as an appetizer. The naan was hot and fresh, the paneer was creamy and cool, and the mint-cilantro chutney was deliciously spicy, with a slow afterburn. We loved it so much, we got seconds.

Shortly thereafter, the pizza arrived. We choose the Saag Paneer because of its promise of "spiced greens, paneer, fontina, goat cheese, and mozzarella." The results did not disappoint. As my friend had pointed out earlier in the night, the restaurant smelled like both a pizzeria and an Indian food restaurant. And this is exactly what the pie tasted like. It was clearly pizza with a very thin, crispy crust sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. It was covered in four different cheeses and accompanied by parmesan and crushed red pepper. So it was definitely pizza. But then again, one couldn't forget that we were eating Indian food. The paneer supplemented the more common cheeses well. Plus there was an undertone of heat to the pizza and a sprinkling of exotic spices that you don't find at The Hut. We devoured the entire 12-inch pie, especially enjoying it with a little extra cilantro-mint chutney for dipping.

There are a number of other amazing combinations we will soon be trying, like "Gateway of India" with tandoori chicken, crabmeat, artichoke hearts, cilantro, provolone and mozzarella all atop a cilantro chutney base. Or the Berry Bombay, with strawberries and pine nuts. Seriously. Plus, Bombay offers scrumptious-sounding salads, pastas and sandwiches. And in a city that largely overlooks its vast downtown area, sitting at a tall table, scarfing down pizza, and watching the Metro Rail pass made us truly remember that Houston is a thriving and bustling metropolis.

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