Indian Food in Nashville
I remember there being an Indian restaurant near Green Hills when I was an undergrad at Vandy. Does anyone know what the name of the restaurant is, if it is any good, or if there are any other Indian restaurants that I can send my new-to-Indian-food friend to?
You're probably thinking of Shalimar, and it's great. It's on Hillsboro Road, on the right before you get to the mall if you're coming from Vandy. They have a lunch buffet and good nighttime service.
There is also Sitar on 21st at West End, very popular, plentiful lunch buffet, good service. And Woodlands on West End at 440, I haven't been but I've heard really great things. It's all vegetarian, which is an interesting approach.
Sitar is a really first-rate place. I've never eaten from the buffet there, but you can't go far wrong ordering from their menu. I ate at Shalimar once about 5 years ago and thought I could cook better food myself, but I've heard that they have a new chef since then and have improved greatly. There's also a place in Hillsboro Village called Cuisine of India or something like that that the students like.
I have traditionally considered Sitar to have the best lunch buffet. But in the last year I have really been swayed by Woodlands, which is a relatively new all vegetarian Indian restaurant in the bottom of an apartment building on West End near 440. I have a tendency to order vegetarian at Indian restaurants anyway, so the absence of meat has not been an issue for me. On the several occasions I've been, the buffet has featured a rotating lineup of items, including many that you do not normally see on an Indian lunch buffet. If nothing else, Woodlands' buffet is different. The only negative thing I have to say about the place is that it is kind of lacking in ambiance and charm, but hopefully the management can improve on that over time.
I have not yet, however, had dinner at Woodlands, so I can't vouch for it there. I love Cuisine of India in Hillsboro Village for dinner. Shalimar is pretty good, too. It's definitely the most upscale Indian restaurant in Nashville, in terms of atmosphere. Consequently, it is a bit more expensive than the rest of the pack.
We often celebrate family birthdays at Shalimar, and the last couple of times I've eaten there, the buffet has been ho-hum. My bro said he and pals ordered from the menu and everything tasted the same. Could be a trend, could be an off-day.
Now Sitar, I think, is reliably great, and half the people in there are from the Indian subcontinent, so I feel good about that.
So far I have found 3 places that are Indian in the Vandy/West End/Green Hills Area. Woodlands is my personal favorite of the three. Shalimar and Sitar were pretty similar as far as presentaion, flavor and service. Shalimar had better atmosphere over all and Sitar felt a little bit like a Mexican restaurant (not sure why but it just did). Woodlands is rather bare as far as looks go, but they have a great handle on spice in their food that I didn't get at the other two.
Woodlands is all veg, the other two have meat dishes. Which one you find the best depends on if you prefer Southern Indian (vegetarian) Northern Indian or Pakistani food. The use of spice and ingredients will vary depending on where the owner is from.
There is one other place near Vandy that I have not been to yet called Best of India that I have heard is really good too.