Jul 09

Gateway to IndiaGateway to India
790 East SR 434
Longwood, FL

Goan spices and authentic Indian cuisine are frequent cravings for me. The Gateway to India is one of the best in the Orlando area for taste, however, I cannot say the same for the atmosphere, service, and price. Not to mention the four glass option wine list. The place is way to brightly lit for a date night cuddle, the staff only tends to you if you are the only one in there dining, and the prices are a bit high for the quality of overall experience.

I have been to this place twice, once where my friend and I were the only ones in there, and once when we were seated near a party of about 25. The first time, we were waited on hand and foot. The second time, not so much. What really made it worse was that it wasn’t a “short staffed” thing because our waiter was a totally different person than the one attending the big party. Still the food was good, but in my Indian restaurant experiences where the food was just as good, if not better, the naan (flatbread baked in a tandoor), papadam (crispy lentil flatbread), raita (cucumber, yogurt and mint leaves), and assorted chutneys are included in the price of the meal. The Gateway to India has sort of an “unbundling” way of serving a meal, where the entrees only come with Basmatie rice and the usual accompaniments are sold separately at a cost ranging from $1.95 to $3.95 each. This can easily make your bill a bit higher than anticipated.

I do not recommend the Gateway for date night, as the booths have very wide tables where the whole entire restaurant can hear your conversation because it is impossible to talk in normal restaurant voices, and like I said, this place is way too well lit. I found it very odd that the dining room choice of music was the Hindustani rendition of Mystikal’s “Shake Ya Ass”. It was just very clear that a comfortable dining experience was not on their mind when the vision of the owner was made into a reality. The backs of the booths are not attached to the bench portion, so if you have the joy of sitting behind a larger person, or vice versa, it becomes a tug of war, or should I say “push” of war, to see who can be comfortable and who won’t. I think this place is best to satisfy that craving for Indian food and not much more. Frequenting the Gateway is not on my list of things to do.

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