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The Pongal Billerica

b
buffet king Oct 3, 2011 12:33 PM

Has anyone been to the Pongal in Billerica for their Indian lunch buffet? If so what are your reviews and recommendations. How is their weekday lunch buffet? Any information would be appreciated. Thanks

  1. l
    LStaff Oct 4, 2011 07:53 AM

    I eat at an Indian buffet for lunch about two, three times a month. I rotate between Kebab and Tandoor and Little India on Moody st. in Waltham and the Sudbury Pongal depending on my mood for the type of food that each place offers. I've been to the Billerica location once and the Sudbury location three times now and the buffett items are about the same, but I think the service (fresh naan, dosa, water) is a little better at Sudbury.

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    Little India Restaurant
    475 Moody St, Waltham, MA 02453

    1. MC Slim JB Oct 3, 2011 05:44 PM

      Been over a year since I've been, but I thought it was one of the best lunch buffets I've experienced in Greater Boston: huge variety, much more regional diversity than typically seen around here, fresh naan delivered to the table. Tons of subcontinental ex-pats dining there, for what that's worth (might merely be the best option for miles around, not amazing on its own terms). But I really, really liked it on several visits, enough to want to go back for an a la carte dinner (which I never managed).

      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

      2 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB
        Nab Oct 3, 2011 06:29 PM

        Thanks. Do you recall if the buffet featured many of the S.Indian dishes ? I ordinarily avoid buffets, but I don't see myself being able to coax many friends to go to Billerica with me :)

        1. re: Nab
          MC Slim JB Oct 3, 2011 06:53 PM

          It skips around: I could somewhat reliably identify various dishes as Punjabi, Mughal, Goan, Hyderabadi, Mumbai, Bengali, Indian-Chinese, Malabar and Tamil. Nice mix of soups, legume stews, vegetables, fish (mostly tilapia), shrimp, chicken, and lamb dishes, with plain and more elaborate rice dishes and both tandoor and tava breads.

          I'd guess that at least 20% of it varied every time I went: they didn't put out the same assortment every day. A simple dessert, usually kheer or gulab jamun. Worth the higher-than-average buffet lunch price ($14, if memory serves).

          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

      2. chickendhansak Oct 3, 2011 01:55 PM

        The good: nice dal, excellent soups (usually two), usually a variety of snacky items like idli, samosa, etc. Usually some spicy popadoms. I like the Manchurian potato, mushrooms or corn (usually one of these is available), and if they have a lamb dish on it's usually very tasty meat though often in gloopy creamy sauce. In addition to plain basmati they typically have some kind of mixed vegetable pilau. It's normally fairly busy on a weekday, not so much that you have to worry about getting a seat, but it probably helps keep the food moving.

        The indifferent: dosa served at the table is often cold. The chicken dishes never seem to be that good. They normally have a fair variety of desserts available, but nothing stunning.

        The bad: tandoori chicken is usually almost as dried-out and bland as at the worst Indian buffets, though not quite. It's not cheap for a weekday -- around 11.99 I think.

        I prefer the Kebab Factory buffet, but The Pongal's is still mostly good.

        1. opinionatedchef Oct 3, 2011 01:45 PM

          no no no. not a talented kitchen. kebab factory has much better food but is not So.Indian. For a So.Indian buffet, the best is prob Priya outside of Lowell( a very large buffet, and for dinner, they have 2 different special buffets on diff days of the wk.) But the best So.Indian food i have had (since Annapurna closed 20 yrs ago in worcester) is at Meena's Kitchen in Nashua NH and Biryani Park in Melrose and Udupi Bhavan in Lowell. Do a CH search for threads on all ( in all my reviews, i detailed the good and bad.)

          As far as what is best in any of those places, my particular suggestion is to put tiny amounts of appealing dishes on your plate, sit down and taste them, and go back for what you liked.

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          Udupi Bhavan Lowell
          1717 Middlesex St, Lowell, MA 01851

          meena's kitchen
          W Pearl St, Nashua, NH 03060

          Biryani Park
          105 Broadway (Route 99), Malden, MA 02148

          1. barleywino Oct 3, 2011 12:58 PM

            went with an Indian friend some time back, neither of us was too impressed, both of us preferred the buffet at Kebab Factory

            3 Replies
            1. re: barleywino
              b
              buffet king Oct 3, 2011 02:21 PM

              I normally go to the Kebab Factory in Somerville or the Kabab Corner in Medford for their Indian lunch buffet. I wanted to try a new place. Does anyone have a favorite Indian lunch buffet place?

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              The Kebab Factory
              414 Washington St, Somerville, MA 02143

              Kabab Corner
              4110 Mystic Valley Pkwy, Medford, MA 02155

              1. re: buffet king
                Luther Oct 3, 2011 03:14 PM

                My favorite is Kebab Factory in Somerville as well. I used to be a devotee of Kabab and Tandoor in Waltham on Lexington Av (see many of my old posts) but I was disappointed in the buffet offered at their Main Street location (cold, less well seasoned, less friendly atmosphere). I haven't been to their new Moody St location so I'd be really curious to hear about that.

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                The Kebab Factory
                414 Washington St, Somerville, MA 02143

                1. re: Luther
                  l
                  LStaff Oct 4, 2011 07:46 AM

                  Food is always warm at the new location - quality is about the same as it was at the Main St. location, except now they offer naan, tandoor chicken (best I've had in the area), and some apps.

            2. Nab Oct 3, 2011 12:43 PM

              Unfortunately, I have not, but the regular scattered south Indian menu looks worth exploring itself. Might hafta make the trip to Blurca.

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