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May 19, 2010 09:22 PM

5/19/10 Priya; Unusual and Delic.Southern (and other) Indian in Lowell outskirts; $12 dinner buffet!!!

With friends from Poona, we had a really fun evening of terrific and unusual Indian food at this new place tonight. Priya serves both Southern and Northern Indian food and on Wed. night they do a Chat Buffet along with a Desi Chinese buffet. It was all vegetarian, so you veggies out there- you are going to be really thrilled with this addition to your options.

I have to say that i am extremely picky about Indian food in U.S. restaurants.From Desis (native Asian Indians living in the States) I have learned to cook a large array of Indian dishes. I was really delighted and surprised with the excellence of the food at Priya. I had not one dish that I thought 'ugh'
or mediocre, and I returned quite a number of times to the buffets, sampling everything.


Particular Favs:

Chat buffet:
Dhokla- WOW! this was a revelation!
Chat papri
Curried white peas
Potato patties
Mini poori w/array of filling choices
Carrot halwa

Desi Chinese Buffet:
Sambar- NOW i finally know how good this dish can be: thick, rich, multi layered complex flavors
Fried Idli in Sweet and Sour type sauce
fried spiced rice
egg rolls w/ cabbage, green pepper etc.
rice w/ yoghurt

there were other dishes as well; they just weren't my top favs.

Can you imagine, a DINNER buffet w/ a large variety of delicious food for $12 p.person??

we can't wait to go back. but *** WARNING: Google maps BAD for this place.***
Also, our friends told us that there's a place with great authentic lunch thali and particularly excellent dosas, at Udupi Bhavan, just down the street.


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  1. This is next door to Pho 88, right? I wanted to try the previous incarnation in that spot - Kebab something, I believe. But I heard it is down a long flight of stairs, which is a deal-breaker. Is there an elevator?

    Pho 88
    1270 Westford St, Lowell, MA 01851

    1 Reply
    1. re: greygarious

      you are right about that long flight. phew. did not ask about elevator.

      looks like udipi bhavan would work fine w/ regards to that. OT, i so wish you would bring your greys here so i could meet them:

    2. Im confused. Your review and all the yelp reviews say its vegetarian, yet the menu on their site shows meat. The buffet menu says there is also a daily lunch buffet, i wonder if that has meat??

      5 Replies
      1. re: hargau

        I have eaten excellent meat dishes there.

        I think they have a vegetarian special from time to time, otherwise they serve both veg and non-veg dishes.

        1. re: peregrine

          are the buffets always vegetarian?

          1. re: hargau


            The lunch buffets appear to be omnivore; the Wed. and Sun. evenings, vegetarian.

            Call & make sure. I have eaten only from the dinner menu.

        2. re: hargau

          har, my review did not say priya was vegtrn. it said that the WED, buffet was vegetrn.

          1. re: opinionatedchef

            I know. The yelp reviews did say it though, which is why i asked.

        3. sorry for forgetting the dish name>> the mini puri thing is Sev Puri.


          1. very nice, thanks for the info - can't wait to try it. We love Indian but haven't learned enough to order so a buffet is great. i don't do indian enough but love it. Thanks again. can't wait to try

            1. After reading about Priya, we visited tonight for the tiffin buffet. Different from the chat buffet, but very good. There is a mostly-Southern Indian buffet, plus they will bring you a variety of dosa and uttapam as well.
              On the buffet:
              Basmati rice
              Chicken biryani
              Two other chicken dishes, though I can't remember which (we only ate the vegetarian entrees)
              Spring rolls
              Methi paneer (never tried this before, but delicious)
              Gobi manchurian (spicier and a little less sweet than Pongal)
              Vegetable curry
              Rice curd
              Carrot halwa

              They also brought papadum to the table, and garlic naan, plus a selection of condiments

              We were already pretty full, so only had a Mysore masala dosa and a paneer uttapam brought to us, but both were tasty. I'd never had a mysore masala dosa before, but enjoyed it.

              We are big fans of Pongal's Sunday buffet--this ranks right up there. The only thing that Pongal has that my daughter really missed was the kulfi. We will definitely return, and are hoping to try the chat buffet as well.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Bluebell

                so glad you liked it! i'm planning the next visit and also want to try udupi bhavan. it'll be fun to continue to compare notes here.

                1. re: opinionatedchef

                  well folks, sorry to say that it appears that Priya is inconsistent. We went back tonight and I'd rate it 5 compared to last week's 10. i guess because so many people come every Wed., they change a number of the items, and tonight, all my favs from last week-were missing. You CAN call them after5 or 6 on wed nite and get the menu for that buffet; so that's what i'll do before returning next time. Udupi Bhavan is our next visit.

                  378 Maple Ave, Shrewsbury, MA 01545

                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    Wanted to update this even though there was very little response to this thread.We have gone to Priya maybe 6 times now; always on a Sunday night when they have dosas and uttapum- many types and all you want- in addition to the 12 dish almost- all- vegetarian buffet (which always includes 1 or 2 chicken items.) Each week the menu is different but they do repeat many items like pakora; the best rasam I have had; Poa- curd (yoghurt) rice; sweet and sour cauliflower, idli, uppama (savory cream of wheat dish). Last Sunday was the best buffet we've had yet- it included a creamy saag (spinach); a chat papri potato samosa/chickpea mixture with poori; potato masala(filling for dosa), spiced rice and chicken w/ okra.

                    My real addiction here, the reason I keep returning , is 2 formerly-new-to-me types of dosa.
                    PESARATTU is made w/ millet flour, is slightly greenish in color and has an addictive sour flavor.It usually has an uppama filling. Rava dosa is made with a thin cream of wheat batter that turns out an addictive lacy and crispy crepe.I far prefer it to the standard dosa for wrapping my potato masala filling.Their uttapum is usually very good; just sour enough (comes from not rushing the necessary fermenting of the dal and rice batter.) and they'll make it crispy/well done if you ask. Hope you'll try these when next you go.