Rangole Indian Buffet
******UPDATE: THIS RESTAURANT IS NOW CLOSED******
Who says you can’t eat Indian food when it’s 97 degrees and disgusting out? It’s 92 degrees at Indira Ghandi National Airport in India today. Where do you think they’re eating? At a deli/salad bar? (Do they have Metro in India?) If they can eat Indian food in that kind of heat, so can I- and isn’t there something about spicy food helping you cool down by making you sweat? I’m not even going to look that one up… just going to assume it’s true.
If there is one thing there’s plenty of in Midtown- it’s Indian Restaurants. Cheap, expensive, eat in or take out… And, most of the nice, expensive Indian Restaurants choose to do buffets at lunch ranging in price (usually $10.95 and up). I’ve gotten a lot of emails asking me to write about some of the Indian Buffets in Midtown- so I’ve decided to start with the cheapest one I know of- Rangole.
Let me start of by saying, it’s not the best Indian food in Midtown, and it’s not even the best buffet… but there’s one thing you can’t argue about- if you like Buffets (and I do) this one is cheap, and for the price it’s totally worth it.
What they serve, some more pictures, and the +/- after the jump…
I am a big buffet eater. My favorite is usually the Chinese buffet, but I love them all. Sushi, Korean (I’ll be writing about Arang in Koreatown next week), American and of course Indian. I have a strategy, rules and I’m good at what I do. It’s all about winning the game. And Rule #1 is always DON’T EAT THE BREAD! (Because that’s how they getcha) But that rule is tossed out the window at an Indian Buffet, because Indian bread is delicious- and necessary when eating Indian food (in fact, it’s traditional use is as a utensil- no forks necessary). Rangole has Naan on the buffet. It does the job, and there’s plenty of it (except when they ran out and I waited 5 minutes for them to bring out more).
They also had Basmati Rice (could have been a little fluffier), Pakoras (fried vegetable fritters), Palak Paneer (Cheese cooked in spicy spinach), Tandoori Chicken (the red baked chicken that your friend who doesn’t like spicy Indian food eats), Chicken Tikka Masala (the go to dish for the friend who is a little more adventurous then the Tandoori Chicken eater), Dal (Lentils), Navratan Korma (9 vegetables cooked in Indian spices), and Aloo Jeera (Spicy potatoes baked in Cumin). There’s also Raita (Indian Yogurt dip), some sort of salad, chick peas and Kheer (that Indian rice pudding stuff)- bringing the total items claimed on the sign outside to 18.
The last time I went, they had a lamb dish which I remember being good, but this time they had a Fish Curry instead, which I skipped. Something about eating fish on a Tuesday, as part of a buffet made me think twice (How do you get rid of the fish you don’t sell over the weekend???). The pakoras were really tasty- and small, so you sort of lose count of how many you eat. The dal was good and the Tandoori Chicken and the Chicken Tikka Masala were both good, but nothing spectacular. In fact, everything is just pretty good, with the exception of the Palak Paneer which tastes really watered down, and I would advise skipping.
In the end, you get what you pay for, and if you enjoy buffets, and want one for under $10 this is the perfect place for you. Nothing spectacular, but for $8.95 it’s good enough to get the job done. And by “job” I mean leaving lunch feeling like you’re about to have a baby.
- Cheap, Cheap and Cheap. Did I mention it’s cheap?
- It’s a buffet. And if you love buffets, then…. it’s a buffet!
- All the basics (Naan, Raita, Chicken Tikka Masala, Tandoori Chicken, Palak Paneer)
- Not too spicy
- There are much better buffets in Midtown (for a few bucks more).
- There’s much better food in Midtown. For $5 you can get better food (and enough to fill you up)- why do I need a mediocre buffet?
- Not spicy enough. I want my mouth to be burning when I leave (and not from the 100 degree heat outside)
- It’s only the basics. Not enough variety.
- It’s not the cleanest place in the world. Not a dump, but it’s not one of the nicer Indian restaurants in the area. A little over two weeks they got a 23 on their health inspection (28 is failing), and the past few months have been worse. (But they’re improving!)
Rangole, 41 West 46th St. btw. 5 & 6th Ave., 212-719-3474