Best Indian Buffet?
Hi, thought this might be interesting. I love Indian / Pakistani food, and frequently make it at home, either from scratch, or assisted by pre-packaged masalas. I normally don't do the buffets except for when I'm totally jonesing, and need a quick lunch fix. I do know that many restos have buffets for lunch, a few for dinner, and I was just wondering who has suggestions for good ones. I'd really like to know WHY you think the place is good if you have a place to suggest. It would also be great to know any interesting facets of the buffet, anything they always have on offer, what to definitely try if it's on offer - stuff like that. I've been to:
India House Buffalo Grove:
lunch buffet maybe four times. I work pretty close, and it's decent. There are probably 10 items + a salad bar and two desert offerings. The spices are usually dumbed down, never anything with any real kick, tho they will have a few things that are mildly hot. Usually, they will have at least one thing that is exceptionally good. Last time, I remember, the exceptionally good item was a lamb meatball dish. The time before, it was an absolutely stellar fish in some kind of curry. Most of the buffet is kind of ho-hum. One of the desserts is usually mango kulfi. Definitely get that. Warm buttered naan will be brought to your table. It's pretty pricey - I recall that buffet plus a soft drink + tip is gonna run in the neighboorhood of 17 bucks.
Saffron in Vernon Hills:
Lunch Buffet five times. When I'm in my office in Lincolnshire, Saffron is always an option for lunch.
It's cheaper than India House, and they use a little more chile, so I like it that much more. It seems like they have Chicken Makhani and goat curry every sinbgle time I've gone, so I think they are everyday offerings. The Butter Chicken varies in quality, but the goat has been great each time. Someone in that kitchen knows how to stew goat meat, and I basically load up on the gosht when I'm there. The other stuff is a little on the salty side, but I do recall that the goat curry and usually one potato dish is always worth the trip for me. Naan delivered to your table here as well. Small buffet. Maybe ten items total. Oh yeah, they have a really good green chutney too - tasted like a mexican serrano salsa verde, but it's labeled mint chutney. I taste no mint whatsoever in it, but it is really good. Buffet, water, tip, as I recall is like 15 bux total. If the other foods on the buffet were a little bit better, this place would be stellar, but as I recall, the samosa, potato cutlets, pakora were way too salty for my tastes, and the veggie dishes were kinda just blah. I keep going back for the goat and aloo gobi, however, and it's good enough for me to recommend them.
Taste Of India in Willowbrook:
I was here last weekend on a whim. I was shopping in the area, but I knew of the joint because of a previous visit thanks to restaurant.com. I didn't think much of the previous visit, it was just OK, but I peaked at the buffet, and it looked decent,. I thought I'd stop back in for quick bite, and it was just ok. I was only impressed by a few things, a spicy chicken kerahi, and their spinach pakora and samosa were really good. Butter chicken was not impressive at all, and their lamb vindaloo was horrible. dry and chewy - they didn't know how to stew lamb at all. However, the price was 10.95 for a weekend dinner buffet, so if I were in the area again, I'd consider giving it a go.
Anyone have any spots to suggest along with reasons why?
Mount Everest in Evanston:
I've been here numerous times. I usually go on weekdays for lunch. I don't think they have a buffet for dinner. They do a huge, steady business; they always have at least 90 percent of the tables occupied during the lunchtime peak and occasionally there are a few people waiting to be seated. As a result of the crowds, they are constantly replenishing the food on the buffet and it is always fresh. They bring naan to the table and they have decent papadoms on the buffet. They always have tandoori chicken and it's very good. They usually have butter chicken and it's very good. They always have two desserts, one of which is kheer (rice pudding) which is very good. Other dishes, I can't describe because these are the ones I like best. So overall it's very good. I don't recall the price but I know it's gone up lately, I'm guessing somewhere around $10-11 before drinks/tax/tip. www.mteverestrestaurant.com
The rest of the places, I haven't been in a while, so these are just a few general impressions of what I can remember. I once tried Bombay Kabab House in Evanston and thought it was okay, but maybe not quite as good as Mt Everest so I haven't been back. One plus for Bombay Kabab House is that they also do their buffet for dinner. See their website at www.bombaykababhouse.net for coupons. I've been to Curry Hut in Highwood and thought it was very good. Their website says it's $9.95. www.curryhutrestaurant.com I've been to Tiffin on Devon in Chicago, although not recently, and thought it was good, not quite as good as Mt Everest. One thing Tiffin does differently is that even for buffet diners, they bring tandoori chicken hot to the table, made to order; I don't know if they will bring free seconds on it or not.
Coincidentally, I had the lunch buffet at Mt Everest today. It's $9.95 on weekdays, $10.95 on weekends. They had the butter chicken today and it was very good. The second dessert today was gulab jamun (served warm), which they have often, not always. They have always had the kheer every time I've been there. Again, they have a lot of other dishes - around 10 hot dishes including the tandoori chicken and papadoms, and also a salad bar.
There's a parking garage on the left on the next block on Church past the restaurant, and parking under an hour is free. It's also just a few blocks from the CTA and Metra stops at Davis Street.
Viceroy of India on Devon
Great lunch buffet with the best chicken tikka masala- lots of items including salads and samosas- they bring you delicious tandoori chiceken and a basketful of naan - It's very clean, and the servers are all very friendly- The mango ice cream on the dessert bar is the ultimate in flavor, and perfect way to top off a meal of indian foods
I was not impressed with the buffet at Tiffin- It's a much better option to go with the a la carte menu
Viceroy of India
2518 W Devon Ave, Chicago, IL 60659
Indian Grill on Clark St, south of Fullerton, if you are willing to go into the city.
They usually have samosas which are very good. My wife does not usually like samosas, but she loves these. They have the usual faves, tandoori chicken, some lamb dish, chicken of course, lentils, veggies, spinach...etc You get the picture. What makes this place good is that the sauces actually taste different from each other. Some places, each dish kinda tastes like it's the same spice mixtures. Buffet is for weekend lunches only I think.
Another good place is Himalaya, in Niles. It's an Indian/Nepali restaurant. What makes this place special is the Nepali lamb (mutton?) dish. Very tasty. Buffet for lunch daily.
2258 N Clark St Ste 5, Chicago, IL 60614