The "Morning Thali" on Pondicheri's breakfast menu looks exotic, but tastes familiar. Thali means "combination plate" in Hindi. The breakfast combo at Pondicheri starts with a piece of carrot paratha flatbread topped with a fried egg. Surrounding it are several metal cups. The smallest is filled with cooling yogurt raita; then (going counterclockwise) comes uppma, a blend of yellow grits with green peas, cauliflower and herbs; yogurt with fresh fruit; potato curry with carrots; and keema, the spicy Indian chili.

2800 Kirby

I tore off chunks of paratha, folded it around some egg and potato, and smeared a little keema on each bite. The flavor was reminiscent of a breakfast taco with eggs, potato and chili. The heritage yellow grits came from Homestead Gristmill in Waco—I ate them on the side. And I had a little yogurt for dessert. It was actually more food than I could eat.

Other Pondicheri breakfast dishes include masala scrambled eggs, a saag paneer omelet, and steel-cut oatmeal with cinnamon, cardamom and coconut milk. A bakery case at the front counter presents an enticing assortment of breakfast pastries, breads and gluten-free baked goods. There's also a wide variety of teas and coffees, including espresso drinks and a spicy housemade chai.

Pondicheri opens for breakfast at 7:30 a.m. 


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