Based on the recent recommendation, I went to check out the Kabab & Tandoor lunch buffet. It's supposed to open at 11:30, which is when I showed up, but the three nice ladies in the kitchen didn't start bringing the food out until around noon, which is probably the best time to go.
* Rice with peas
* A flatbread that tasted pretty much like store-bought pita
* Fresh, oily papadum
* A very tart dal. This reminded me somewhat of Ethiopian-style lentils... lots of vinegar, and the yellow lentils still held their shape- they weren't boiled to a creamy consistency. Lots of black mustard seeds.
* Two dishes of chicken, still on the bone. Both were very mild in flavor and slightly dry. One was a bright red color, and looked like it may have been tandoori chicken that was then stewed a bit.
* A very spicy vegetable curry- chickpeas, potatoes, green beans, etc
* Another vegetable dish with lots of squash (especially the squash seeds, this was the most notable component)
* A creamy, orange dessert that seemed to be made of thin noodles cooked in condensed milk. There was a light spice, but I couldn't quite place it.
$5.99 for the buffet ($20 minimum for credit cards) and all the food was hot and delicious. It looked like a lot of the stuff had been cooked at home or prepared the previous day, brought in in rubbermaid containers, and heated up... and I'm not complaining. By far the best Indian buffet I've ever had, and some of the best Indian food I've ever had, period.
I'd read all the raves about places like Jackson Diner on the New York board, and tried them when I went down to NYC... they were all right, but served essentially the same buffet food you find at any Indian buffet place. The food at Kabab & Tandoor is very homemade-tasting, with lots of vinegar and spice, much more like Mina's, to make another NYC comparison. Perhaps this has to do with regional style... I'm not familiar enough with different styles of Indian food to figure it out. But this place is great.
As was mentioned in the previous post, there's a $10 weekend buffet that includes biryiani and haleem.
Kabab and Tandoor
33 Lexington Street (right off Main St)