Reporter Kirsten Passmore Visits Sharpstown's Bengal Cafe

Reporter Kirsten Passmore Visits Sharpstown's Bengal Cafe
Lament about coffee on the wall of Bengal Cafe in the Mahatma Gandhi District of Sharpstown

“What do you recommend?” I asked Mosleh.

The clear countertop case inside Bengal Cafe displayed colorful treats and dishes. Above, vibrant signs advertised various goods and their prices.

There was a bit of a language barrier, but Mosleh, the owner, recommended a beef biryani ($11.99), a piece of chom chom ($2.00), and a 12 oz. Kumbakonam degree coffee ($4.33).

I found a corner table on the opposite side of the narrow room and sat down with my goodies.

The first thing that I wanted to try was the beef biryani. Inside the black plastic container, there was a sizable bed of rice with beef bits and potato cuts on top. The spices made the rice fragrant, and the beef was not too chewy. It was very peppery, and the effect lingered after each bite. There was also a slight taste of lemon.

A black tray of food

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Beef biryani at Bengal Cafe

I moved on to the chom chom (also called cham cham), a small, cube-shaped dessert. The outside was coated with either toasted coconut or mawa flakes and the inside was probably curd cheese.

A bowl of food with a spoon

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Chom chom at Bengal Cafe

Finally, I tried my cup of Kumbakonam degree coffee. It was smooth but also left a tingle in the back of my throat due to what I thought was nutmeg.

Bengal Cafe is proud of its coffee. Where I was sitting, inscribed on the wall, was the story of “How coffee danced its way around the world."

Storytime on the wall of Bengal Cafe

The wall also displayed a coffee-related quote attributed to Denis Leary.

A poster on a wall

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Lament about coffee on the wall of Bengal Cafe

Bengal Cafe is located in the shopping center at 5901 Hillcroft St. Until recently, the location hosted All Bengal Sweets Coffee House, which is probably why a small sign inside Bengal Cafe read, “We are not associated with All Bengal Sweets."

I had the opportunity to briefly speak with Mosleh, who explained that the café began “seven months" ago after he “flew from California.” He said he came because "My friend is here."

He answered with pride when I asked him why his café stuck out from all the others: “Lot of people here from the community.”

Despite being California transplants, Mosleh and his wife Ivy greet every customer with Southern hospitality. Bengal Cafe serves fresh Indian food and is generous with the portions. I could only try a handful of dishes during my visit, but I will come again and pick out something new.


Kirsten Passmore, reporter
Kirsten Passmore is a senior studying political science at Houston Christian University. She enjoys volunteering, spending time with friends, and playing adaptive sports in her spare time. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy (as a result of a brain injury at birth), she uses an electric wheelchair. In 201…
Tyess Korsmo, editor-in-chief
A North Dakota farm boy, Tyess moved to Sharpstown in 2019 to earn his Master of Liberal Arts at Houston Christian University (formerly Houston Baptist), where he now teaches English and history. He also teaches English for the Heart of Texas Foundation College of Ministry, located in a maximum-secu…

The "I" in this story is Kirsten Passmore. Tyess Korsmo provided editorial guidance and contributed the image captions and most of the sentence about All Bengal Sweets.

This is Kirsten Passmore's first article with the Sharpener!