Sunday, August 21, 2011

Indian Garden

Location: 247 E Ontario
Cost: $18 per person

The third year of medical school has really shaken things up a bit. For one thing, I barely get to see my classmates with the exception of the two or three guys rotating with exactly my schedule. Once a month, however, we have a day where the whole class meets for lecture on campus. It's almost like a miniature reunion where everyone gets to see their "old" friends and swap battle stories. If anything people were getting a bit too excited at the first one of these days. We just got our pagers, and the second that lecture got boring, everyone started prank paging each other. So of course my buddy Dave lost interest with the rest of the class and started texting people to round up a crew for lunch. Since my trip to India, I've been a bit worn out as far curry and naan is concerned. When Dave got everyone on board for the unlimited lunch buffet at Indian Garden, I was a bit hesitant but didn't want to be the turd in the punch bowl.

Indian Garden fits with most every other Indian lunch buffet you'll come across. They have a wide selection that isn't necessarily limited by region as many Indian places can be. There is plenty of seating, and they were easily able to accommodate our last minute large group.

The buffet was kept well stocked through our multiple trips. They could've done a better job at both clearing our plates and refilling our waters. The lack of water became an issue with some of the spicier dishes. The website says it's $13.95 for a lunch buffet, but I could swear we paid closer to $16.95 before our Northwestern student discount (around 10%).

The Food
The buffet had about 20 items, but I'll try my best to point out the memorable ones. The Veggie Samosa had a nice crisp to it but a bland potato filling. It's dangerous to have these guys on a buffet line because they're so filling. They had a Chicken Salad that was one of my favorite things. It had large chunks of moist chicken with tangerine slices in a light dressing. The Tandoori Chicken was just alright and could've had a more pungent spice rub. The Chicken Tikka was a bit bland and boney. There was a Paneer dish with a creamy tomato sauce. The paneer had a lot of substance and flavor. It was a bit chewy and spicy for most of our party, but I was a fan. The Chicken Biryani was a clear fan favorite except for the few unfortunate souls that unexpectedly bit into a chunk of bone. There was a Lamb Stew that was a bit too boney, and most people gave up picking through it. Finally, there was a well prepared Saag Paneer with large chunks of potato. I was disappointed that I only had so much room left by the time I discovered it. That being said, I was far too full to try any of the desserts which included some Gulab Jamun and Rasmalai.

 My first of four plates

Indian Garden was in line with most Indian buffets I've been to. I felt like a lot of the dishes were toned down in authenticity. I really liked the Chicken Salad, Biryani, and Saag Paneer though. So with a few highlights among a smattering of options that were just alright, I'm giving Indian Garden 3 out of 5 Pearls.

Indian Garden on Urbanspoon

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