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The Grand Indian Lunch Buffet: Is All You Can Eat A Real Treat?


Walk into any Indian restaurant during lunch and you can’t miss being drawn into the inviting world of the “All you can eat” buffet. The buffet has become an essential part of the Indian restaurant system in the USA. It’s almost impossible to find any restaurant that doesn’t have a buffet, almost like its taboo not to have a buffet. So, is the range worth the low price? We posed this question to our readers and restaurant owners. 

Navin Prabhu:

“Love the grand Indian buffets. Based on standard entree pricing at most restaurants, I believe the grand buffet helps you maximize your dollar’s worth. The food quality is good enough and I have always enjoyed the variety. If you are looking for a healthy grand buffet, you need to look elsewhere. Biggest concern at such buffets is whether the food is fresh. Food can be fresh or be made to appear fresh. Both require talent. I have had a few experiences where it was immediately obvious that the food was stale and probably leftovers from that week”.

Kavita Goyal: 

Yes, my husband and I both love the big range at that price. My husband always wishes I could eat more to justify the price”

Prachi Gupta: 

“Yes, the price is good for such a range but they can even lower the price and keep a basic buffet, especially during the weekdays, where an office going person would not care to stuff up their stomachs before going back to work. Finally, we need at least one place which will be considered "Indian Fine Dining" in Atlanta.”

Divya Dubey: 

“It makes for a very pretty picture, such a vast variety at a reasonable price, but in reality I have had some really bad experiences where it was shocking to see that the food served was stale and it made me think if it was really worth my money.”

Amit Sinha: 

Agrees that the range is worth the price but feels that the quality needs a lot of improvement. He talks about his recent experience at an Indian restaurant in Atlanta. “They have stopped serving the full buffet on weekdays and now they serve a limited thaali for $10. The irony is that they already used to serve low quality food and now they have reduced the quantity as well.”

Ravi Bijlani: 

“According to me money spent should not be the criteria to gauge the quality of food. I have been to many restaurants that attract clients AKA victims based on the low prices to poor quality food. Buffets in Indian restaurants falls in the category of poor quality food. I only eat there when I am forced to”

Anu Scaria: 

“I would like some surprises rather than being able to predict the menu.”

Finally, we talked to Mr. Narendra Patel, owner of Madras Chettinad, Alpharetta. 

NRI Pulse: Why do you think the buffet has become a standard fixture in Indian restaurants?
Narendra Patel: “The buffet has become a custom at Indian restaurants over the years. It works during lunch because ordering-in takes time, customers can come in and eat and get out in about 30 minutes. Also, they love the variety of food available. The cost of food is high since there is a lot of wastage in general at buffets, since people usually pick up more so that they don’t have to walk up to the buffet every time. We do take a-la-carte orders from people who are health conscious or don’t want to have a heavy lunch.”

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