Just wanted to check in with you, mmcooks, to ask if you've tried any of these suggestions here? Also, wanted to ask if anyone has tried Indian Paradise on Hayden, north of Raintree? I've never been, but an Indian client recommended it. He and I agreed on Udupi and Jewel of the Crown being very good Indian restaurants...
I ate at the Indian Paradise for lunch, today. I arrived at Noon, and they were just opening.
I'm not big on buffets, but, they had just set everything out, and the place was empty, so, the buffet seemed like a good choice. Besides, I wasn't offered a menu, and was just asked what I wanted to drink, and whether I wanted plain or garlic bread.
First off, I looked at the salad, and saw that is was pretty much iceberg lettuce with plenty of yellow color, so, I skipped over that.
Next, was the steam table. Unfortunately, I like chicken, but, it doesn't like me. Chicken was the only non-veg option, so, it looked like I was going veggie. There were quite a few veggie options. I ended up eating five different dishes, but, there was no real spice to anything. The flavors came from cilantro, onion, and tomato.
I don't exactly remember the names of the dishes, and, they did not have half of the signs posted, while I was at the buffet. The only thing I remember, exactly, was Palak Aloo (spinach and potatoes). My favorite was the eggplant dish. There was also a dish of peas that had chunks of cheese (mutter paneer?).
Early on, in this experience, I guess I had decided that I was just going to get in and out, and not come back. Nothing bad, here, just mediocrity. I did not try the soups. chutney, or dals.
My knowledge of Indian food is subpar, so, I don't know what kind of bread was brought to me. It was not my idea of naan. It was thinner, drier, crispier. It was not bad, but, nothing special. It did have a pretty good, mild garlic flavor.
The bill surprised me at $12. This included a soft drink, but, still seemed high to me. I think the weekday price is lower, but, does not include a drink.
Others may like this place better than me. I was really spoiled on the Indian food that I had while living in the Mid-Atlantic. Locally, I think Tandoori Times and Udupi are both much better.
15115 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
I've never been to Indian Paradise, and I'm sorry you had a negative experience overall. The fellow who referred me to this place is not someone I am familiar with- a very casual acquaintance.
I love Udupi, Tandoori Times, and my one visit to Jewel of the Crown (I think that the prices are on the high-side for such small portions at JotC).
It's been my experience that buffets really aren't the way to go... food tends to be bland (which, in a way, is a good thing, so that you may adjust to suit to taste) and too greasy! I really dislike greasiness :(
I wish PHX Chowhounders would get together more often! I'd love to join in, but perhaps I'm not welcome? Oh well, such is life...
That's a very good point about buffets. It makes perfect sense - that they tone down the spice for broader appeal. And, in this case, they might just be toning it down for North Scottsdale appeal.
When I first moved to Phoenix, I was dying for some good Indian food, with my last stop being suburban Detroit, where it eluded me. I went to Pasand for lunch. I was very disappointed to find a buffet. My server was very disappointed that I ordered off the menu! I guess I need to hit a few Indian spots, around town, for *dinner* to avoid the buffets.
Just a reminder, Tandoori Times will cook things mildly spiced (for me, anyway) unless you specify otherwise. They have never asked me how I like it. And the buffet at Udupi is above average.
SLJ, PhoenixHoundGathering is just not very active, that's all. Feel free to drop me a line, if you can find my email address.
1801 E Baseline Rd Ste 104, Tempe, AZ 85283
Udupi Cafe (vegetarian Southern Indian cuisine) serves fantastic dosai (try sada rada-lentil and wheat crepes; paneer- cheese dosai made with American cheddar, potatoes, and onions; masala dosai-lentil and rice crepes with potatoes and onions), palak paneer (spinach, homemade cottage cheese, tomatoes, onions, spices; much better here than Tandoori Times, and TT's palak paneer is very good!), mutter paneer (homemade cottage cheese, cut thick and long, with peas, onions, tomatoes, and spices), mulligatawny soup, and assorted appetizers.
At the north end of Tempe, just south of the Tempe / Scottsdale border, there's Udupi. Udupi is a little different than Tandoori Times and Jewel of the Crown. The two restaurants previously mentioned serve northern Indian food, which is more familiar in the U.S.
Udupi, on the other hand, serves southern Indian food. There is more emphasis on tropical flavors such as coconut and tamarind, and lentils appear everywhere -- not just in dal, but also in dosa (crepes), sambar (soup), and other dishes. Udupi's menu is 100% vegetarian, although I've never known a meat lover to walk away hungry after a meal at Udupi. Also, Udupi has no liquor license, but I believe BYOB is okay. Call ahead to check if that's important to you.
1636 N Scottsdale Rd, Tempe, AZ 85281
Tandoori Times Indian Bistro
8140 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Jewel of the Crown
7373 E Scottsdale Mall Ste 1, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Had dinner @ Jewel of the Crown last night....everything was wonderful.
My Mother has decided to take a trip to India in the Fall so she decided to sample the cuisine.....
We kept it simple....we had the Chicken Tikka, The lamb Korma, the Alu Gobi, The Vegetable Biryani and the Garlic Naan....
She loved it all......
Next time we try the Vindaloo.....
It was the perfect meal for a rainy Monday night!
My veggie friend and I very much enjoyed the channa masala (garbanzo) vegetarian dish at Tandoori Times on ISR west of Goldwater. I've only tried the dinner specials (Nihari beef and Coconut curry chicken) there. Both were very good (although I will admit that the channa masala dish clearly outshone the coconut curry dish!); dinner specials include salad, one plain naan, and a large plate of Basmati rice. Complimentary chai tea. We also enjoy dining at Jewel of the Crown (at Scottsdale Mall Convention Ctr. on 2nd St. and Wells Fargo; next to Orange Table). JoTC does not serve beef (holy cow!). She ordered the potato and pea entree (delicious!) and I had the lamb curry, also very good. Everything here is ala carte and served in smaller quantities (although papadum is complimentary!). Very nice atmosphere, more subdued than that of TT; very nice for romantic dates and cozy get-togethers). The atmosphere at TT is a little more casual, with gauzy curtains serving as room dividers all throughout the restaurant, but still cozy and inviting. Belly-dancers on Fridays and Saturdays.