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Intro to Indian

Imby Jan 20, 2014 02:23 PM

Hoping to take a couple of folks to Indian for lunch tomorrow (Tuesday) and looking for a recommendation. Doesn't necessarily need to be best or most authentic or spiciest: what's the best welcome to a couple who want to try it, but aren't terribly adventurous? I realize a weekday lunch may point to buffets, in which case those recommendations are welcome.

Thanks in advance!

  1. viperlush Jan 20, 2014 02:40 PM


    8 Replies
    1. re: viperlush
      Imby Jan 20, 2014 05:22 PM

      Sorry, should have said - ideally near Belmont, e.g. Waltham, Cambridge, Arlington, Watertown. Somerville, Allston, Brighton also ok I guess.

      1. re: Imby
        LStaff Jan 21, 2014 06:52 AM

        In Waltham I would recommend Little India for an intro to indian food. They usually don't make anything too hot/spicy, but their dishes have depth. Lunch buffet would give them a sampler of a few different dishes - and all the dishes are labeled for reference. The people who work there are very pleasant and would take the time to explain the dishes to your party.

        1. re: LStaff
          hyde Jan 21, 2014 02:32 PM

          Kebab and Tandoor, also in Waltham, might be an interesting choice. Downstairs in an Indian supermarket ( Waltham India Market ) through the glass doors, and it becomes a quiet, darkish, water falling, almost elegant.

          I have always been a fan of the food, Hyperbadi seems a touch spicier and less cream load than others. The buffet is quite good if uneventful, but for newbies its fine.

          Halal means the meat seems better to me but no alcohol. Thats ok, mango lassi for me. It makes my head hurt when the knuckleheads on Yelp give the place two stars because "they dont have a liquor license". they choose not to, why is this so hard to fathom?

          1. re: hyde
            LStaff Jan 22, 2014 12:02 PM

            K&T is one of my favorites too, but not sure I would take someone there for an intro to indian food though. Many of the items they put on the buffet has quite a bit of spice (both heat and spice) and many items they serve are unlike your standard Indian restaurant that you would find in the area - heck, it wasn't until sowewhat recently that they even served naan, apps, chutnies, etc - I remember that throwing alot of non-regulars off when they would come in for the buffet. Picking through tiny chicken bones (necks, ribs, etc) to get to the meat might not be appealing to first timers as well.

            And during the week, you could be in that room yourself while the waiter/cook/busboy/host/food court worker is busy doing other things, or if its busy (on a friday), waiting around for this person to fill the trays with food when he has a chance.

            For first timers I thought Little India would be a nicer environment, better service, and the spice level you could expect from most Indian restaurants in the area.

        2. re: Imby
          Boston_Otter Jan 21, 2014 02:37 PM

          My personal favorite Indian place in Waltham is New Mother India, but I haven't had their buffet in a very long time.

          1. re: Boston_Otter
            hyde Jan 21, 2014 02:43 PM

            I really like their food but the cream load is scary, also I never got used to the salad components they offered. Maybe im naive but the iceberg lettuce and salad bar components always struck me as strange.

            1. re: Boston_Otter
              LStaff Jan 22, 2014 11:48 AM

              I used to go to NMI often until I got tired of the lousy service and food on the buffet took a turn.

              1. re: LStaff
                hyde Jan 22, 2014 01:59 PM

                Thats unfortunate to hear. Honestly I have not eaten there in quite a while, I usually go to Waltham India Market for groceries and either get sucked into Kebab and Tandoor or get fried chicken from place in the food court to take home.

        3. opinionatedchef Jan 20, 2014 03:04 PM

          i think Tanjore has always had a very good chef, but i've never been to a buffet there. Kebab Factory is pretty good
          but sometimes a bit sloppy; still, a very good intro to safe indian food.( nothing is hot-spicy except one chutney/ condiment.)

          1. BostonZest Jan 20, 2014 03:09 PM

            I've introduced a number of friends to Indian food at India Samraat on Mass Ave between Commonwealth and Marlborough Streets.

            Like many Indian restaurants this is family owned and operated and the people are very nice. They will prepare with the spice level you want.

            I always include their chicken biryani with mild spice to an Indian food newcomer. Chicken and rice seems to work.

            And they have a wonderful bread basket that is a nice way to explain that you can eat with the breads.


            1. BobB Jan 21, 2014 06:46 AM

              The tastiest Indian I've had in the area recently was at the new Shan-a-Punjab, on Harvard St. in Brookline, very close to Allston. They don't have their liquor license sorted out yet, but that's probably not an issue at lunch.

              1 Reply
              1. re: BobB
                jmarya Jan 24, 2014 08:34 PM

                Seconded. I'm developing a serious addiction to their gobi achari...

              2. c
                Crazy Egg Jan 21, 2014 08:07 PM

                Kashish is an Indian restaurant in Belmont Center. I haven't been in ages, but other hounds may chime in. I believe you can find more reviews on it with a quick search on this board.

                1. i
                  Imby Jan 22, 2014 01:55 PM

                  Thanks everybody for chiming in. For convenience reasons (i.e., other things we had to do in the area) and Yelp reviews, we tried Punjab in Arlington Center. It was OK for my objectives - passable tikka masala and lamb saag, and the guests are willing to try Indian again sometime - but I wasn't impressed and wouldn't recommend to Hounds in the area.

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