Indians dish up a taste of their homeland at Ganesh Indian Cuisine
When Srinivasa Reddy Lakireddy and Sany Kumar each journeyed to the United States from India years ago, neither expected to go into the restaurant industry.
For Lakireddy, that changed when he got a job in a restaurant, slowly began learning the trade and discovered a love for serving good food. For Kumar, it changed when he first visited one of the two restaurants Lakireddy owns in the valley.
The pair bonded over their shared homeland and formed a fast friendship. And now they are partnering on a new restaurant in Park City, Ganesh Indian Cuisine, where they are serving the authentic flavors and spices from their homeland. Lakireddy owns the restaurant, while Kumar helps out and owns the building Ganesh Indian Cuisine is housed in, at 1811 Sidewinder Drive.
"Our passion is bringing this food to this country," Kumar said. "We grew up eating all those spices. We want to bring this to the people in the Valley and in Park City. We’re an authentic Indian restaurant."
Lakireddy is expanding to Park City after the success of his two other restaurants. He initially opened those to serve the Indian community in the Salt Lake area, but soon discovered an unexpected and exciting reality: Everyone, no matter their ethnicity, was craving what he was dishing up.
"Over the years what we learned was that local people loved the food," Kumar said. "That’s what we learned in the other two locations. And we were looking for a good place and the right time to open up one in Park City as well. I think this is the right opportunity. As you can imagine, we aren’t targeting any Indians in Park City, but this is our passion. Now we know who our customers are."
Lakireddy and Kumar were confident a restaurant in Park City could thrive for two reasons. First, there wasn’t anything quite like it in town. And second, Parkites had already been flocking to the valley to eat at the other locations.
"Some people are regulars and they have a fixed time and date every week," Kumar said.
Many people who have visited the restaurant are unfamiliar with Indian cuisine. Others, though, are well versed in it and have certain expectations of what an Indian restaurant should offer. When Kumar and Lakireddy considered dropping chicken dosa off the menu when they opened the Park City location, for example, patrons protested.
Chicken dosa now remains on the menu, alongside other favorites such as lamb curry, tikka masala and chicken coconut korma (the restaurant also has extensive vegetarian offerings).
"We saw how passionate the people are in Park City about the food," Kumar said. "When I was doing my initial research, I noticed that there are so many restaurants, a lot for a place like Park City. That told us that people are passionate about their food choices here. And we think Park City people were missing our spices. We are passionate about our spices and food and authenticity and that’s what made us choose Park City."
As Kumar tells it, Lakireddy is the true force behind the restaurant. When they first met about two years ago, Kumar was blown away by Lakireddy’s dedication. He said Lakireddy is well known in the valley because of how he treats his customers.
"I’ve known him for two years and I’ve never seen him at home," he said. "There’s not a single day he takes off. He’s always at all three restaurants. He will visit them daily. He just loves it. If you ask me, it’s just that he’s passionate about giving this food to the customers.
"He’s really an inspiration in that context," he added.
Kumar said he would be surprised if Park City doesn’t also quickly embrace Lakireddy. So far, residents here seem to be giving the restaurant a welcome reception, and Kumar is eager to see more customers come through the doors.
"It’s been good," he said. "We really like the people and their support and the response. It’s been very good. Most of our customers are now repeat customers, and the word of mouth is bringing more customers."
Ganesh Indian Cuisine
1811 Sidewinder Drive
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