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Indian Food - Baltimore Hounds, please help

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I have never eaten Indian, aside from the standard Tandoori Chicken and basmati rice deal. Where in Baltimore can I get good Indian food with a menu that explains what I will be eating? Also, I have seen some places with lunch buffets, any place with dinner buffets? The dinner buffet might allow me to try many different dishes to get a feel for what I like.

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  1. Go to the gold standard of Baltimore...The Ambassador Dining Room. A lovely setting, friendly wait staff and a menu with explanations.

    This is an upscale kind of place, and the prices are slightly higher than other Indian places in town. It is well worth it. Just ask for help, and they will be happy to give it.


    3 Replies
    1. re: Oakenfoodie

      While I agree that Ambassador Dining Room is lovely, I don't think that it is by any means the best offering for Indian food in the area.

      Although I'm no expert, I'm partial to India Rasoi in Little Italy, and Mem Sahib in Lexington Market (with lunch buffets during the week). The staff at both are nice and helpful...and I can't imagine that they wouldn't help explain the menu/what you're eating to you.

      Crowsonguy recently reviewed Indian Tandoor. I'm included the link below.

      Enjoy and have fun!

      Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

      1. re: baltoellen

        Another vote for MemSahib. IMO their Indian food is a cut above the others and their lunch buffet is delicious.

        1. re: baltoellen

          I currently live in Dubai which has some of the best Indian food outside of Indian. Rajasthani, Lucknow, Hyderabi, Punjabi, Kerali, you name it, there will be a few restaurants that specializes in the region.

          When I compare what I regularly ate at the Ambassador to the outstanding variety of Indian in Dubai, the Ambassador offers a very pleasant interpretation of Northern Indian cuisine. It's not as rich or heavy as some of the traditional Indian offerings, and the quality of ingredients used at the Ambassador is superb, indeed, better than at a typical Indian joint both here in Dubai and in the States.

          The Ambassador's food is certainly tempered down compared to whatever you consider to be authentic Indian, but for someone looking for their first Indian meal, the Ambassador is an excellent introduction to the cuisine.

      2. I also like India Rasoi, and they generally do take-out business, so if you go there, you'll probably be able to ask all the questions that you want. The owners are very nice.

        You might want to try the new Indian place in Fells Point--Mehek. I understand that they have an all-you-can eat special on Wednesdays (please call to confirm before you go); that might be a good way to introduce yourself to Indian food.

        Happy hunting. Let us know what you think.

        2 Replies
        1. re: atls14620

          I was also going to suggest Mehek--not so much the buffet as dinner, because their menu is full of explanations about the food. There's like pages of essays and photos about Indian street food, so they're obviously all about the education! Plus the food was really good. They're BYOB.

        2. Sizzling Bombay in Bel Air, whenn on a good night, the best Indian I've ever had. The chef/owner travels a lot, so when he's out, it slips a little, but still very fine.

          1. I really enjoy Kebab Stop in Mt. Washington. They offer the ubiquitous lunch buffet but the the owner is so proud of the food that he'll happily explain what's on the menu.


            2 Replies
            1. re: ILoveBacon

              This post inspired me to get some take out tonight from Kabab Stop. I got the combo platter which has a sample of pretty much all their tandori choices. Everything was delicious and for $12.99 is a really good deal. It's not quite as good as some other samplings I've had in the DC area, but for Baltimore it might be the best of the bunch.

              1. re: ILoveBacon

                Another vote for Kabab Stop. Last time I went for the buffet they had a mushroom dish as one of the vegetarian options, another time an okra based dish, yet another time an eggplant dish. I like that they offer some variety and "off the beaten path" dishes on the buffet, alongside the usual favorites (Tandori Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala, Saag Paneer)

                They are indeed very friendly as well.

              2. We get delivery Indian from Yeti - at York and Northern Parkway. Despite a recent change in management, they are still very reliable with hot, authentic Indian food delivered right to our door. Yeti is great- I highly recommend them.

                1 Reply
                1. re: maddogg280

                  I also have a separate post about "Balti" style Indian food. Please take a look at my description of it and the links for more information: is there anything like this in the Baltimore area? Thanks.

                2. My go-to Indian spot has been Akbar in Mt. Vernon. The food is quite tasty (better than India Rasoi, IMHO, whose quality steeply declined) and the service very smooth. I had a vegetarian DC friend visiting Baltimore try Akbar last week and said that it made it to his top 10 best Indian meals, ever.

                  Akbar has a few "thalis" that allow you to get a taste of 4-5 different dishes. They have a veg thali, one with meat, and another Special Akbar Thali that has several tandoori specialties in addition to the dal, and a few "wet" dishes (rogan josh, etc). This may fit your needs in the absence of a dinner buffet.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: venera

                    Akbar on Charles St. is by far my favorite in Baltimore too! I'm glad you pointed it out-- I think far too many people overlook it.

                    1. re: stephanieg

                      Akbar is my favorite also, totally recommend it!

                      1. re: hon

                        anyone like bombay grill on charles? I'm a fan. nan and paneer mateer.

                        1. re: vivinator

                          I thought the Bombay on Charles St. was gone? I might be mistaken.

                          1. re: vivinator

                            I used to LOVE it (15-20 years ago) but aren't they long gone?

                    2. Just had a wonderful lunch buffet at India Tandoor on East 21st Street near North Charles Street. They actually had shrimp on the buffet., along with excellent curried chicken, eggplant, daal, chickpeas, and Cauliflower & cabbage.. Nice salad, chutnies (spicy coriander), and the best raitha and pickled mangoes that I have ever eaten. The service was very attentive, and the server brought me hot fresh puri. Price was only $6.95 plus tax and tip. Finestkind.

                      India Tandoor
                      2101 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21218

                      1. Indian food like Chinese has many regional cuisines. Among the most common are Bengali, Goan, Punjabi, Rajasthani, Marathi, Kashmiri, Gujarati and South Indian. Each has its own characteristic ingredients, methods, levels of heat, etc..

                        A Thali is a good way to try several dishes. I do not favor buffet food as it sits out and under improper conditions and breeding grounds for food poisoning. And especially with Chinese food it is not indicative of true flavors. I am certain the same thing holds true for the Indian cuisine.

                        Indian food is wonderful so enjoy.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: zenim

                          Went to the buffet at noon while everything was still fresh. I am in general agreement with you, but this is really a nice buffet, the exception to the general rule.

                        2. And don't forget to enjoy a nice Indian beer with your food.