This Richardson hole-in-the-wall is turning out some incredible vegetarian Indian fare.EXPAND
This Richardson hole-in-the-wall is turning out some incredible vegetarian Indian fare.
Paige Weaver

Gopal Vegetarian Restaurant Brings Cheap, Spicy, Traditional Indian Gujarati Thali to Richardson

Gopal Vegetarian Restaurant sits right off State Highway 75 in Richardson and is the definition of a hole in the wall. Open since 1991, it serves South and West Indian food.

Gopal is small and clean; there are no more than 12 tables. Ambiance and decorating are clearly not a priority in this space. Don’t let that turn you away, though. Gopal's vegetarian Indian food is flavorful and very inexpensive. The restaurant specializes in Gujarati Thali, a cuisine of Gujarat, a state in Western India, that involves a variety of small dishes served on a platter.

Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted, and our helpful, attentive server enthusiastically recommended the Gujarati Thali ($12.99), enough to serve two people. He explained it would come as a selection of dishes, so it would be perfect to experience a variety. He added an extra samosa to our order so we could each try one.

Gopal doesn’t always offer the same dishes in the Gujarati Thali; they're consistently switched up. Ours came with three types of bread: crispy papad, roti and methi paratha (fenugreek flatbread). Rice was piled in the center of the metal tray. Other items included were dahi vada — fried flour balls in a thick, spiced yogurt sauce — and Gujarati dal, a dish made with split peas and peanuts.

The samosas are deep-fried but not greasy and are stuffed with potatoes and peas. Our server brought over a sweet tamarind chutney for dipping.

Gopal's Gujarati Thali.EXPAND
Gopal's Gujarati Thali.
Paige Weaver

There is such variety of flavor and texture in the Gujarati Thali, you don’t miss meat.

Our server came back a few times to check on us and worried that the food was too spicy. While it had a bit of a kick, it certainly wasn’t overwhelming. But metal water pitchers and metal cups are given to every table just in case.

While the highlight of Gopal is its Gujarati Thali, it also has individual dishes and a long list of shuruvat (appetizers). Nothing on the shuruvat menu is over $7.99. Aloo tikki ($5.99) is two potato patties served with garbanzo beans, gravy, onion and chutney. Pau bhaji ($5.99) is a thick vegetable curry, fried and served with a soft bread roll. From the South Indian side of the menu, try the meduvada ($3.99 for three), a popular fast food dish of deep-fried lentil cakes.

Gopal also offers tiffin service, a light midday meal served in individual, stackable metal containers — essentially a lunchbox.

As we left, our server said that the next time we visited, he would recommend something different. If you visit, don’t make the mistake of going on a Tuesday, as we did initially. It’s the only day of the week Gopal is closed.

Gopal Vegetarian Restaurant, 125 S. Central Expressway, Richardson

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