Matthew's Foray into Blogging

Sunday, March 12, 2006

I Like Indian Food, but Buffets…

I do not like buffets. Getting my money’s worth aside, I always feel compelled to try just a little bit of everything. When there are so many offerings, though, a little bit of everything turns into a lot.

I had lunch with a friend yesterday at Khyber.1 To my recollection, this was only my second Indian dining experience. I had lunch with my sister at Sitar a few weekends ago. A fellow student in law school mentioned Khyber when he remarked that he could not live outside the loop because he had to have his ethnic food.2 I did not find that Khyber, an inner-loop restaurant, was superior to Sitar, an establishment situated where dragons reign. Sitar, way outside the loop, compared favorably to Khyber. I am hardly sufficiently well versed in Indian cuisine to begin critiquing the dishes I sampled; I cannot even remember the names of the dishes. Save for the beef meatballs, the meat – chicken and lamb – were tender and juicy enough. The dal was not splendid; the lentils and kidney beans could have been softer (kidney beans in dal?). The potatoes and “fresh” green peas were not spectacular, but, by then, I had consumed more than my fill. I was not overly fond of the yogurt and mint condiment sauces, but I did enjoy the little bit of the turmeric sauce I tried. The vegetable curry, with champignon de Paris, carrots, and bell peppers, was palatable, with a pleasing sauce. I preferred the saag paneer at Sitar. Khyber's rice pudding with almonds and coconut in it was the best rice pudding my dining companion recalled. None of the food was too piquant. When tomatoes are not in season, don’t offer a tomato and cucumber salad. Sitar cost about a third less than the Kirby-area Khyber. Despite the Chronicle’s appraisal of Khyber’s owner as doting, I found the wait staff at Sitar to be friendlier. They also shut of the A/C at three o’clock, and stopped refilling the water long before that. I would save the time and gas, and visit Sitar to satisfy my ethnic fix.

1Neither of these restaurants has a website.
2The 610 loop is a highway that encircles Houston. I live outside the loop. I even live outside the beltway, which is beyond the loop. Some people think the world ends and dragons roam beyond the loop. Admittedly, there is a dearth of ethnic food, or good dining, for that matter, outside the loop.


  • If you ever plan to come to Austin in the near future, I will take you to Swad. After traveling the subcontinent, it's the most authentic (and enjoyable) Indian meal I have encountered in the Lone Star state.

    By Blogger Ashley, at 6:03 AM, March 12, 2006  

  • I've lived inside the loop (when I worked in downtown Houston)and I've been outside the loop when I lived in Conroe. Now I'm in Dallas, and it's the same way.

    By Blogger Ivy the Goober, at 7:33 AM, March 12, 2006  

  • I haven't had Indian food in a while, but you've made me hungry for it again.

    Buffets are a blessing and curse. Lots to sample: bravo. Eating food that's been sitting out for who-knows-how-long: icky. I'm willing to eat at buffets only at busy times and places, so the food should be reasonably fresh from the kitchen.

    By Blogger English Professor, at 3:54 PM, March 12, 2006  

  • That's a coincidence. I went to a buffet restaurant on Saturday but mine was a Chinese restaurant in Manchester. It's good once in a while.

    By Blogger Lesley, at 5:10 AM, March 13, 2006  

  • My sister, after eating the tikka masala I brought for her, preferred the tikka masala from Clay Pit and Sitar. Khyber's rendition was short on tomatoes, she said.

    By Blogger Matthew, at 3:19 AM, March 14, 2006  

  • Thanks for the tip about Swad. I need to make time to travel to Austin.

    By Blogger Matthew, at 7:56 PM, March 14, 2006  

  • Buffets are out to trick us. They put something in the food that stops us from eating a lot.

    By Blogger Thomas, at 1:31 AM, March 15, 2006  

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