My husband & I were visiting my parents in Queens last week and since we're new devotees of Indian food, we decided to go to the Jackson Diner for their lunch buffet. We'd always read on these boards how this place was supposed to have the best Indian food in NYC. Well, folks, if THAT was the best Indian food you've had---you need to come to Peoria, IL! Seriously, we found our local place to be VASTLY better than what we got at the Jackson Diner.
Almost all of the offerings were meat curries---there was only chana dal, the lentil dal, and a sorry-looking (and tasting) curry with cauliflower pakoras in it. The lamb curry had VERY little meat in it. The two chicken curries were good, but not great. The rice was passable (I've made better at home!). They ran out of naan (!), and replaced it with MORE RICE. Perhaps the best offering was the fried potato appetizer---I'm not sure what this is called, but like a samosa without the outside pastry. We were even disappointed in the chutney offerings. There was only a mint chutney and tamarind. The buffet we frequent here also offers a tomato chutney and (my favorite!) a coconut chutney. We also get a raita---not just plain yogurt as we got at the Jackson Diner. The dessert--a rice pudding---was also disappointing. Too sweet and not enough spice.
Is the buffet there always this bad? Were we supposed to forego the buffet and order off the menu? Most importantly, where do we go next year for a better experience?