Best authentic Indian cuisine
My friends from India tell me you can't get good Indian food at a restaurant in the U.S. They say the only good Indian food is found at someone's house. Maybe so although I am partial to Devi in New York and have had good meals at Masala Art in Needham. My family likes India Paradise in Newton. In college we frequented India Pavillion. This conversation usually brings out strong opinions so I hoping this topic will have a lively thread.
Ok, no one makes dosas like my mother in law, but here in town I do the South Indian thing at Udupi Bhavan when I can make it out there. I like it way better than Chennai Woodlands.
Bollywood Cafe in Lexington (right over the Arlington line) is terrific -- mostly Punjabi food -- with a very friendly staff (and a BYO policy!). They'll go very spicy if you ask them.
And then there's Tamarind Bay, which is a very different kind of "authentic." It's not home cooking at all, but the chef was famous in India before being lured to Cambridge. My favorite ancedote about this place is that the owners wanted to offer a lobster dish, seeing as New England is rich in lobsters, so they sent the chef to one of the only communities in India that uses lobster in its traditional cooking so he could learn that preparation and bring it back here.
My $ .02
I don't know authentic Indian from a hole in the wall, but India Quality is fantastic northern Indian "restaurant" food.
A few of my Indian friends like Rani in Coolidge Corner, Brookline. They say that Indian Dhaba in Allston is quite good too, more of a homemade sort of place. I like both. My favorite Indian food comes from JMP in the Super 88 food court in Allston. The only employees are mom, dad, the two daughters and the son.
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It's a bit out of the way, but I am quite fond of Punjab Cafe in Quincy for authentic North Indian food. Rangoli in Allston has very good South Indian food. Both of these places have vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.