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Feb 25, 2009 05:35 PM

Great Indian Food, Preferably in Montco

We are Thai food lovers who are looking to branch out to other ethnic foods. We are specifically looking for a great intro to Indian food. (We're not afraid of spiciness...just of choosing an inferier Indian place for our first time.) Any help would be appreciated. THANKS!!

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  1. Some people like Hot Breads in Montgomeryville, I keep meaning to get there. But I have to walk by Pumperniks as they share a parking lot.

    1. I assume that you are new to these boards. If you do a search for various terms related to your inquiry, or simply browse, you will find several long threads on the topic you ask about.

      There are many Indian restaurants in Montgomery county, and most of them are decent, a few exceptional. I recommend going for the lunch buffet, so as to get the biggest bang for your buck, as well as the opportunity to try more selections than you would by just ordering off the menu.

      The restaurants range from the bland (Chinnar) to the spicier and richer (Taste of India). Both are good and well-liked by many people, but your enjoyment of them depends on your preference. Keep in mind, that you are not going to get the coconut and peanut taste at these places that you may be used to in Thai cooking.

      I recommend going to one of these places on any day other than Friday.

      3 Replies
      1. re: FelafelBoy

        ATOI not on a friday? because of the crowds i'm assuming? that was actually my favorite day to go, because they had a larger buffet spread for the same weekday price, and it always seemed like the spice was kicked up a notch on fridays. also they had some of my favorite dishes - often samosas and pakoras and paneer tikka masala. :)

        to the OP: i definitely second the taste of india rec. the buffet would be a great way to introduce you to the cuisine. true you won't find the peanut and coconut flavors, but i think it's a pretty easy transition if one's used to that kind of spice level already. thai and indian are my two favorite cuisines for what that's worth.

        1. re: rabidog

          Crowds, yes (at least at ATOI on Friday, ditto with Royal India, and to some extent, Bawarchi, although I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from going to Bawarchi at anytime, due to its lower profile, thus attracting a smaller crowd than the more visible ATOI and Chinnar). If one must go to ATOI, a better time to go there to avoid crowds is after 1:15pm on Friday.

          The question on the original post referred to choosing a place as an introduction to Indian food. Being subject to a crowded condition would damper the enjoyment of the food. No need to be introduced to the best value ATOI has to offer (weekend selection at daily/non-weekend prices) on the first visit. I'd recommend to gradually work up to that great experience. Or - if your wallet can afford, just go there on the weekend and enjoy the additional breads and appetizers.

          If you want to be introduced to a large variety of foods with toned down spice/flavor, I heartily recommend Chinnar during the week for its buffet. If you want a stronger taste, try Royal India, TOI, or Bawarchi (for a more exotic taste). There are some others, but these are reliable. (Make sure if you go to Royal India, you get there early. My recollection is that they stop refilling their trays much earlier than the other places.)

          But don't let these considerations get in your way, get thy feet to any of these places - sooner rather than later!

          1. re: FelafelBoy

            or right at 11:30, when they open. if i am starving, and i know i'm going to eat fast, i dive right in. the crowds really arrive at noon, and by that time i'm usually unbuttoning the pants. (kidding... sort of. that place is the lone spot i wish it were proper to do so!! haha)

        1. re: Den

          I totally agree with TOI. I would also recommend Tiffin but that is in Mt. Airy. Closer to Montco is Cross Culture in Doylestown. Good food, very nice atmosphere and thus a bit pricier than typical. IMHO, avoid Sultan and Greater India in Montgomeryville.

          1. re: Schpsychman

            We live very close to Chestnut Hill and like Tiffin.