HOUReview

photo credit: Mikah Danae

Pondi Bake Lab review image
8.2

Pondi Bake Lab

$$$$

2800 Kirby Dr, Houston
View WebsiteEarn 3X Points

There’s only one place in town where you get a saag wild mushroom dwaffle (dosa plus waffle), and it’s at Pondi Bake Lab. This bakery and cafe above Pondicheri serves a mix of Indian street food and pastries, and everything is so beautiful you’ll feel like you’re seeing color for the first time.

Despite being crammed into a multi-use apartment megaplex in Upper Kirby, it’s basically a chic industrial treehouse that’s perfumed with saffron and hibiscus. There are rows upon rows of chili-laced cookies, turmeric-colored cheesecakes, toast plates, and curries blanketed in fresh herbs and pomegranate seeds. Everyone here is lounging on plush benches, sipping green juice or iced masala chais, and enjoying forkfuls of masala eggs or chai pie. This may be a kaleidoscope, or an Eden, but whether you’re taking a long lunch or picking up cookies to go, anything you order here makes you a more interesting version of yourself.

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Food Rundown

Pondi Bake Lab review image

photo credit: Mikah Danae

Pav Bhaji

Quintessential pav bhaji from Mumbai, the thick mashed stew of spiced vegetables, is always served along with dinner rolls, in this case soft pumpkin buns. You only need one bite of the masala-laced vegetables, like peas and cauliflower, slathered over the warm buns to feel complete, but soon you’ll be scraping the bowl.

Pondi Bake Lab review image

photo credit: Mikah Danae

Breakfast Frankie

Frankies are one of the most popular street foods in Mumbai, and here they’re stuffed with soft scrambled eggs and a ribbon of tangy cilantro chutney.

Pondi Bake Lab review image

photo credit: Raphael Brion

Toaster Sandwich

Toasters are pressed sandwiches made in their own special way using a handheld contraption that squeeze the bread and fillings between two heated plates. It looks like a grilled cheese sandwich, if you cut off the edges and sealed them shut. The toaster is filled with a fried egg, cheese, and cilantro chutney, but the cheese pull when you first bite into it is the best part.

Pondi Bake Lab review image

photo credit: Mikah Danae

Dwaffle with Mushrooms

Fermented dosa dough becomes a savory saag waffle vessel for a mountain of crispy and earthy maitakes. The mushrooms are piled high with pine nuts and herbs.

Pondi Bake Lab review image

photo credit: Mikah Danae

Chai Pie

The chai pie is silky, soft, and beautifully layered with masala chai spice and whipped cream. We only recommend you share a slice so you have room for other desserts and pastries you’ll inevitably want to try.

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