Restaurants & Bars 5

Tandoor, 30 years on

bishopsbitter | Jul 12, 2011 12:11 PM

When I first came to the twin cities (indeed the US) in 1982 I missed the English staple of Indian food. At that time I think Tandoor (then located on Hennepin) was "it" in terms of Twin cities Indians. It was subtly different from UK style of Indian (which in itself is totally foreign to the real stuff) but it was a heck of a lot better than nothing.

What's remarkable is that I just had lunch at its lingering incarnation in Bloomington and confirmed with the owner (who yes, looked vaguely familiar albeit us both much more aged of course) that indeed it s one and the same enterprise. Even his wife (I realized later) I think was there & I also recall as a young woman.

Tandoor 2011 was doing spiffy lunchtime business suggesting the franchise is anything but exhausted. Now I will say the buffet was a notch below the restaurant I reviewed a few weeks ago (I remember places by where they are, not what they are called so I would have to look it up) it's the one just off Lake St.

Gandhi Mahal
3009 27th Ave South, Minneapolis, MN

Not so good as GM is Tandoor buffet-wise but I noticed several people ordering from the menu so perhaps they know this and the menu is a better option. Not as good in terms of the brightness of flavors, a notch lower. The variety and replenishment status a bit meager too.

I will also indulge a general moan that I've meant to air for months in some post or another: the habit of using cutlery which (regardless of Uri Geller skills) bends in normal usage and is so thinly pressed out of junk metal as to be highly unpleasant to wield during a meal. Frankly I would 1000% prefer plastic silverware to those things. Is theft of cutlery so pervasive as to make it not cost-effective to provide something "a bit better"? I mention in case owners think people just don't notice this. for me, it spoils a meal those pressed metal knives and forks with the cut-into-your-flesh handles.

Really nice to feel a part of a 30-year-old enterprise. In the early days I introduced several Minnesotans to their very first (but not last!) Indian meal at the original location.

I'd like to say my 3 stars is "buffet only" for all I know they save the good goods for the evening when the menu is king.

Food wise: pakora, a bit chewy. Tandoor chicken very very bony. Naan had run out but I got a doggie end and it wasn't great (not puffy style). Again, clearly the food attracts a large lunch crowd (office people nearby I think) and is certainly not terrible and with everlasting gratitude they were there in 1982 which made acclimatization a bit easier. A friend of mine swears by their vegetarian and that indeed (the comment about the very sparse meat) may be their passion & strength.


Tandoor Restaurant
8062 Morgan Cir S, Minneapolis, MN 55431

Gandhi Mahal
3009 27th Ave South, Minneapolis, MN

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