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Indian buffet suggestions?

Okay, so I face the challenge of dating a vegetarian who is 95% sure she doesn't like Indian food but is willing to give it one last try to confirm this. We decided that maybe the best idea would be to go to a lunch buffet, so she could sample several different options (and maybe discover something she actually likes). I know buffets generally aren't the best representation of any type of food but I was wondering which buffets fellow hounds would recommend? I'm leaning towards Namaskar in Davis (which would be close to where we'll be and my memories from when I lived in Davis are that Namaskar was better than Diva, though I can't remember if that applied to the buffet too) or Tamarind Bay in Harvard (which I fear may not represent what she can expect to find at most Indian restaurants?).

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  1. I recently had the buffet at Namaskar. I highly recommend it..haven't been to Diva. Thought it was better than Tamarind Bay's buffet.

    2 Replies
    1. re: 9lives

      The mid-week and weekend buffets at Namaskar are great. That would also be my choice.

      1. re: gini

        Third this rec -- and plenty of veg options, including basic salad bar fixings in case your friend should decide she just doesn't like the rest of the fare.

        Beware of agressive water glass refilling. Otherwise you will enjoy it!

    2. I love the buffet at Kebab Factory (opposite Dali, Washington @ Beacon on the Cambridge/Somerville line). I know it seems odd to recommend that a vegetarian eat at a place with kebab in the name, but it has one of the widest selections of buffets that I've seen in the area.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mbtabus69

        I also like the Indian buffet at the Kebab Factory in Somerville. They have plenty of vegetarian options and meat options on their lunch buffet.

      2. I haven't been to Tamarind Bay lately, but would still choose Namaskar. You get the cute saffron drink, there are both standard Indian dishes plus a few unusual ones, and on a non-food note, it's not in a basement!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bluebell

          Are they still doing the pre meal drink? Wife and I had dinner there last Friday and they did not serve it. Or does it only come with special meals and/or the buffet?

          This place may just be catching on since it was the first time that I've eaten there were more than just one or two tables being used.

        2. Word of caution:
          Just make sure she's a vegetarian that eats dairy. Most Indian places cook with ghee, a type of clarified butter.

          3 Replies
          1. re: joestrummer

            Is clarified butter still considered dairy? All the milk sugar is in the watery layer which is discarded when making clarified butter, leaving just the butter fat...yummmm.

            1. re: AnjLM

              Mmmm. . .fat.
              Not sure from a lactose/dairy point of view but from an animal product point of view I would think it is.
              I had some hard-core vegetarian friends (basically vegans) and they wouldn't eat ghee.
              I'm no expert but I wanted to give Po Boy a heads-up in case he was unaware and it was an issue.

              1. re: joestrummer

                Thanks for the heads up... thankfully she does eat dairy (which makes my attempts to cook for us a lot easier -- esp as I'm already pushing my limited skills enough, adjusting from meat based meals to vegetarian friendly meals).

          2. If you can travel by car, I would recommend Punjab Cafe in Quincy. It is in a most unlikely location, in a mall across from a CVS. Once inside, however, it is cozy , romantic, tasty and inexpensive. They do a buffet on weekends, but are sensitive to different palates. Our family preferences range from medium-hot vegetarian to very hot chicken Vindaloo. We always leave with the feeling that we should go there more often...