India's Tandoori: A pair of sixes won't win you the game

A pair of sixes won't win you the game

All you can eat buffets are one of my favorite things in existence. Buffets, warm laundry fresh from the dryer, and Stevie Wonder's 'Superstition' all fight it out for the top three spots in my list of best things ever in an unending war. So I was dealt a crushing blow when my lunch at India's Tandoori threatened to knock buffets from its place of honor.

You expect certain things from an Indian buffet and India's Tandoori offers them: Onion pakora and veggie samosas? Check. Chicken tikka masala, sag paneer, and naan? Check. Aloo gobi? Not today apparently, but the aloo jeera was a fair substitute. Plus you get high ceilings, good service and a very reasonably priced weekend champagne brunch, so in that regard I'm fine with not having any cauliflower with my lunch.

The chicken tikka masala was very very saucy, but a thorough fishing expedition pulled up some tender bits of chicken lurking in the deep. Even if the search hadn't been fruitful, the sauce was creamy, spicy, well-balanced and plentiful. Knocked out of the park for six, as the cricket commentators would say. The naan was charred just the right amount and handled the excess tikka masala sauce with ease.

The flavors at India's Tandoori were excellent, but the dishes that missed the mark found themselves off course based solely on texture: the potatoes in the aloo jeera were underdone, the chicken tikka without masala (which is a separate dish) was overdone and the samosas were wildly inconsistent. My first samosa was a plump morsel of potato and peas and was satisfyingly crunchy on the outside, smooth and moist on the inside; but the second, smaller samosa had an inedibly dry filling. The peas crumbled out onto the plate, rust-colored and totally devoid of any moisture at all.

Some options were very good, some were disappointing and the rest were nothing special. I want to like you India's Tandoori buffet, I really do. But going to an all-you-can-eat buffet just to eat one or two dishes? I think I'll throw a load of blankets in the dryer instead.

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