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Rangzen lunch buffet - Central Square

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Rangzen lunch buffet - Central Square

GreenStreetThrill | Jun 16, 2003 12:52 PM

Many time passer-by, first time customer at this small Tibetan restaurant on Pearl Street just off Mass Ave in Cambridge. Turned out to be a worthy alternative to the myriad Indian buffets in the neighborhood.

Bread-y section: Spongy bread, more like Ethiopian stuff than like naan. Cilantro sauce is truly hot and truly tasty. Also some fried eggplant slices and tempura-ish mixed veggies. Scallion pancake-like item was too soft.

Meats and veggies: Chicken curry was pretty standard, but a cut above my typical Indian buffet experience in that the meat was more juicy and tender. Beef with Daikon was beef stew with a little curry flavor (i.e. you won't miss anything if you don't have it). Chickpea curry was quite pleasant. Turmeric shined and the squash and zucchini weren't soggy, as I'd expect from the run-of-the mill buffet curry. Chicken with mushrooms was the most "Chinese" dish I encountered - it was shockingly sweet after trying all of the curry-based meat dishes. Also, steamed asparagus and broccoli - nothing special, but certainly competent.

Salads & Dessert: Cherry tomatoes with red onion and parsley was nice, kind of like a grain-less tabbouleh. A good selection of mixed melon and orange slices, and the star of the show, sliced pear in mango yogurt. Fresh and tastes just like you expect.

In all, most of the food didn't rise far above standard buffet quality, but there was certainly a better selection than I'm used to - there were 4 or 5 meat options with a similar number of veggies, and more salads and desserts than the typical Indian buffet as well.

So while I'm not sure I'd recommend a pilgrimage if you're far from Cambridge, it's definitely worth a shot if you're thinking about going to your local Indian buffet for the billionth time.

PS - sorry for the grossly general and frequent comparison to Indian buffets, but I found it a useful framework for description.

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