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.
Dhokla- WOW! this was a revelation!
Curried white peas
Mini poori w/array of filling choices
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.
Went back for lunch today and the buffet is still advertised as containing 22 items during the week, Today wasn't too exciting, I must admit, an Onion and Cheese Roll! can be seen next to the Goat Curry. Tandoori Chicken was really good with a peppery rub and the Cabbage Carrot Porial was another really good dish. A bit spicy and with a good texture from the cabbage and carrots. Channa Chicken was OK. The Aloo Baignan (Potatoes and Eggplant) was bland and under seasoned. Second helping was Tandoori Chicken and more of the Cabbage with some Dal Tadka. The freshly made Naan was excellent and hot!
I was in the area for lunch yesterday so gave Priya a try. The Sambar pales in comparison to Biryani Park and nothing really wowed me in the way that almost everything at Biryani Park does, but if I were in the area and looking for a lunch buffet, I'd go back to Priya. There were a few chicken dishes and in all of them the chicken was really moist and tender. I wouldn't say anything other than the Sambar was spicy, but it did seem fairly well spiced, if that makes sense.
I'm awful with Indian dish names so I can't give specifics, but there were two chicken in sauces, one was curry and I don't remember the other, as well as a tandoori option. There was Idli, which was good I guess, I don't have much experience with it... this seemed more of a conveyance to move the sauces to my mouth, and didn't have much flavor on its own. There was a nice selection of sauces- I particularly liked the tamarind chutney, mint chutney and coconut chutney. I didn't care for the raita... it tasted a bit odd and old to me. The lemon pickle was something I haven't seen on a buffet before and was interesting but not something I'd have much of. There was a green bean dish which I liked... I would have loved it with fresh green beans and this used frozen, but I liked the seasoning of the dish. The Naan was fresh and really good. The Dal was not at all to my liking.. it had a burnt taste which kept me from eating it but my husband ate all of his, so I don't know that there was anything really wrong with it.
Yes, the fake windows are a bit odd but other than the stairs down (which weren't too bad) it didn't feel like I was eating in a basement until I realized I had no phone reception. Which is not all bad, actually... they had password protected WiFi and I'd guess would give a password if I had asked, but I think getting away from your phone at mealtime is actually a good thing, so it didn't bother me.
This is another favorite lunch spot that seems to survive despite being down in the basement! About 22 items on the buffet and all of what I had today was excellent. Biryani Rice actually had a nice kick to it as did the Butter Chicken. Dal Makhani was nice and thick and the Tandoori Chicken was moist and had a nice char to it. I'm so happy that there is a buffet around that actually have spicy stuff on it.
They also have a Wednesday Night Chat Buffet and a Sunday Night Tiffin Buffet.
We tried the Sat lunch buffet today and liked it. I cant comment on specific dishes since i dont know indian food well enough and dont know the names of anything. There was this one fried cauliflower app we really like and jokingly reffered to as "general gaus cauliflower" since thats what it looked and tasted like. I also really liked a boneless chicken dish they had called "chicken 65"... They brought us 1 dosa that was really tasty too, i think it had potato and onion in it. There were a few desserts and salad, a noodle dish, several veggie dishes, 1 fish dish that i didnt care for and 3 other chicken dishes including tandori chicken. the naan i thought was very plain/bland/uninteresting. There was a potato pancake that was tasty too.
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:
Two other chicken dishes, though I can't remember which (we only ate the vegetarian entrees)
Methi paneer (never tried this before, but delicious)
Gobi manchurian (spicier and a little less sweet than Pongal)
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.
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
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.