A few years ago I pulled off a whirlwind food exploration of New Orleans as a total newb. This weekend, I took another trip (#popecation). Older and wiser, I sipped carefully balanced, bitters topped cocktails instead of sloppy plastic goblets of sweet hurricanes. As for food, I still like to stick to the cheap, authentic gems that feed locals.
Archive for 'buffet'
The 4 Seasons Food Court was a place I passed by a million times but never went it. I think I was just confused by the name, but there is no relation to the fancy hotel. When I finally realized it was a decent by the pound buffet type place, I made it there for an early lunch. Buffets are always better when the first open. Its safe to say the quality decreases as hungry locals file in each hour. Get in before noon and you are golden.
I pass by Wolf’s Food Bazaar on the way to my best friend’s house all the time, noting each time, the sign on the door about their award winning grilled cheese. Passing by the very eclectic selection of food products and long steam tables, I got to the station in the back where the sandwiches are made. As I waited for my grilled cheese, I starting studying the weirdness that was the steam table.
Two weeks ago, when a thwarted trip to the New Delhi buffet landed me at Tandoor India, I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of my lunch. One of my lunch partners suggested that we return to New Delhi, not on a Monday, and do a comparison to decide the better of the Indian lunch buffets. For exactly the same price($8.95), someone needed to come out on top. The gauntlet was thrown down.
On Wednesday we walked to 40th and Chestnut and, for some reason– perhaps the fancier dining space and buffet set-up– expected New Delhi to surpass Tandoor India. At New Delhi the main buffet station sits in the middle of the dining room, while another, smaller station for salads and sauces sits against the wall. Visually, New Delhi is more enjoyable. The dining area has been recently redone to a much more modern look than Tandoor India and the buffet stations look newer and better maintained– making New Delhi feel like an upscale cafeteria at lunch time. Unfortunately, the food at New Delhi is also reminiscent of a cafeteria at lunchtime. The main offerings, although beautiful and of seemingly more variety than Tandoor’s, lacked the unique, bold flavors that I was really looking for.
Last week I started brainstorming locations for my first ML post. I really wanted to do Kabobeesh,which I hear has incredible kebabs and naan, but their prices were a little more than what I wantedto spend at lunch time. Also their menu is confusing, where fish curry is served “mostly on Mondays”and biryani “mostly on Fridays”. So, there’s that. The final decision came down to the lunch buffet atNew Delhi Indian restaurant, on 40th and Chestnut. I had looked at their website, skimmed the buffetofferings, as well as the traditional dine-in menu, and I was ready to feast. Then, I walked over with twoco-workers on Monday afternoon and realized they were closed on Mondays–a minor oversight on mypart.
Thankfully, right around the corner is Tandoor India, which also offers an $8.95 lunch buffet and this iswhere we landed. The exterior of the restaurant leaves much to be desired, but the quality and quantityof food easily makes up for what the restaurant lacks in aesthetics. We were immediately seated, brought a pitcher of water and ushered up to the buffet.
San Samosa was not one of the places that I walk by and thought, “I have a good feeling about this place.” I think it may have been the fact that I never saw anyone in there. So when I decided to bite the bullet and try the food to stop judging this book by its cover, I was really surprised at the steady stream of traffic. So there I was with my fellow diners, ready to hit up the $7.99 all you can eat buffet. I have to admit, I was a little scared. The sparse setting could be an indicator of food that is sparse as well.
Fast, fresh, homestyle Indian food is the motto of Mumbai Bistro. Here, the main feature is the by- the- pound Indian buffet where everything goes for $4.95 a pound. During my lunch trip there was a steady stream of customers, but I was able to get my food and pay very quickly. A few tables are available in the small space. The serving trays are reheatable, just be cautious when you carry your tray so your selections don’t mush into one Indian food blob.