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Dec 17, 2008 03:01 PM

Triangle Area Indian Restaurants

There are several Indian restaurants in the RTP area that are worth going to. The Tower in Morrisville, a vegetarian South Indian style, is excellent, but does not have a liquor license. The Saffron, also in Morrisville is among the very best in the area, and not exclusively vegetarian. The Sitar in Durham is also first rate and is about to relocate to new gracious quarters on 15-501 -- can't wait for them to open in their new venue.

Then there are some so-so type Indian restaurants that fluctuate in the day to day quality of their offerings. Dale's on Ninth Street in Durham is one that fits that description. We rarely go there unless we happen to be in the neighborhood and are in a hurry. Today we were deeply disappointed. The food in the lucheon buffet was stale and reheated, which is not so bad sometimes if the reheating is done carefully. But the use of canned vegetables is to my mind an unacceptable transgression, especially in an Indian restaurant where many of the dishes are vegetarian. After today's experience, we've decided to cross Dale's off our list.

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  1. Sounds like you are a fan of Indian food. If so, here are a couple of others to try out. In Cary in Chatham Square is a a place called Cool Breeze that serve Indian street foods: chat, puris, etc. They also have various paratas that they serve with a few curry offerings. They also have Indian style ice creams and kulfi. Something different from all the other Indian restos.

    I haven't been there yet but friends and collegues who have been have had good things to say about Kandas in Morrisville.

    4 Replies
    1. re: bbqme

      We have a friend from India who always wants to go to India Palace on West Franklin in Chapel Hill when he's in town-says it's about the best restaurant food he's had since he moved to the States. We tried a place in Durham(not Sitar) that has since changed hands and the new Mint(next to India Palace) when he's been recently and neither measured up.

      1. re: realjuel

        I have been to India Palace only once and found it wretched -- really wretched. Cubes of dry chicken breast swimming in thin nondescript gravy. The three best Indian restaurants in my experience are Udupi in Cary, the Tower in Morrisville, and Saffron in Apex. Udupi is distinctly cheap, Saffron a tad pricey.

        1. re: realjuel

          I'm not sure I'd go as far as Sino but I too think that India Palace is unimpressive. I have not tried Mint yet. I found out that they are the owners of Tamarind that used to be in Cary/Apex before they closed down. I had heard good things about Tamarind but I don't get over to Cary/Apex much. A new place in Durham worth a try is Taste of India. They have a Bengali bias to their flavorings, even though their dishes are typical of any Indian restaurant menu. Saffron is my favorite Indian restaurant and IMO the best in the Triangle. It is pricier than the other Indian restaurants but I don't see why an Indian restarant can't be as pricey as other upscale cuisines. If anything Indian cuisine is far more lavor intesive than other cuisines.

          1. re: bbqme

            You should give Mint a try. I'd love to know what you think of it.

            Never been to India Palace; it certainly doesn't *look* like it would be a great (or even good) restaurant, but of course you can't judge by that.

      2. We had the lunch buffet at Mint in Chapel Hill one day last week, and thought it was excellent. I was really surprised (students are gone) that the place was packed! The food seemed really fresh, and there was decent variety. Usually we go to Sitar in Durham, but Mint is closer for a workday lunch. Buffet is $9.

        1. Any opinions on the Raleigh Indian restaurants? Has anyone been to Royal India on Capital lately? We used to love that place but hadn't been for a few months. Went back last week and for lack of a better word, it was yucky and much more expensive. Very dissapointing. We've tried Azitra at Briar Creek about a year ago. It seems to be the preferred Indian among my friends but I'm skeptical. I believe they had put parmesan on the Naan and nothing was spicy enough. I've never been crazy about the one in North Ridge. Need a new place. They are out of our usual stomping ground but we'll try the ones you have reccomended. Thanks for posting this.

          1. I am a big fan of Tandoor Indian Restaurant on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. It's in the basement of a State Farm Insurance building... so a little hidden away, but the veggie korma, rice pudding and masala chai make it VERY worth finding. One warning: although the flavors are very good, the food is generally not super-spicy. It's more of a comfort food experience (especially with its very cozy basement location).

            If you are looking for spicy, you might want to try Spice & Curry, which is located at the intersection of NC-55 and NC-54 (next to Chosun OK, a Korean restaurant). I've had good experiences there. And for whatever this is worth, all the times I have been there, the clientele has seemed to be a majority South Asian.