According to IndyEthnicFood.com, the Indianapolis metro area has 12 Indian restaurants (11 really since India Garden has two locations). I have eaten in 8 out of the 11 restaurants, and I have not had a bad meal in any of them. That's pretty good for a midwestern city. How many other cities outside of Mumbai can boast a MINIMUM competence rate of 73% when it comes to Indian food.
However, I have my favorites. In fact, I have my favorite, and it is definitely Taj of India. The restaurant serves east Indian fare. The average entree costs $8-$12, and the lunch buffet is $6.60 per person.
The food is fantastic, the portions are large, the vegetarian entrees are many (I've counted close to 25), and the restaurant feels...well...friendly. There is no other word for it but friendly. I feel more comfortable there then in any other Indian restaurant in town, largely because of the soft lighting, authentic Indian music, and unpretentious attitude. And, of course, the food. Oh, yes...the food...
My wife insists that we go there (or get takeout from there) whenever possible. Malai Kofta is her favorite dish, and she insists that they make the best malai kofta in town. Tonight she insisted that I drive across town to Taj of India after I picked up Omri from Hebrew School (even though it wasn't the closest restaurant to the school or to our house) because she was craving some "comfort food."
Of course, I have to admit that we also love the restaurant because Rani, our favorite waitress, works there. It's not just that she's always friendly, it's not just that she's very cute, it's not just that she can recognize me on the phone whenever I put in an order, it's not just that she knows our order by heart:
malai kofta mild for Shirah, paneer pakora for the boys, one order of garlic naan, and something medium spicy for me...usually palak paneer. Oh, and 2 mango shakes.No, it's not any one of those things. It's all of those things combined.
I highly, highly recommend the restaurant. Please say namaste to Rani when you're there.
And tip her well.