Though not all that familiar with Indian food, we are surrounded by co-workers who love it, and we had had enough tastings to want more. So we braved the bitter cold and headed out for a staff lunch. We made our way to Café Spice, an Indian Restaurant located in the heart of Towson which specializes in serving up a great buffet at lunch, and settled in to try some worldly cuisine.
The first thing you notice when you walk in the restaurant is the overwhelming (and wonderful) smell. Even though the buffet is down a ramp and well away from the main door, the wonderful smell hits you as soon as you walk in. If this alone does not make you crave the food you are about to consume, then you probably aren’t hungry enough for a buffet. We walked down the ramp and were seated in their huge dining room. Don’t worry about it being crowded during lunch hour – the place has enough seating to feed a small army. If you choose to have the buffet (and really who wouldn’t) you don’t have to wait for a server to come to your table. You can actually just go serve yourself, which is great because you don’t have to wait around for a waiter to tell you to go help yourself – you just do! (We waited around so we could get some warm drinks, including a coffee order which we heard was very very good, but during the warmer months we’d have been happy to stick with the provided water glass.)
Buffets are great because they allow you to try a whole bunch of different things, and to fill up your plate as high as you can. So we headed over to the buffet counter and dug in. All the food was labeled, both with the traditional Indian names and for us novices, they also provided a sub-heading of what the dish was in American terms. We packed our plate high (we probably would’ve gotten more if we could – just because it all smelled and looked so good.) We picked up some Naan – the Indian equivalent of a garlic bread or Italian bread – some tomato soup, rice, tandoori chicken, and some mixed vegetables in a special sauce. (We can’t honestly recall what it was, but it looked good.)
We have to say, that all the food on our buffet of Indian cuisine was delicious. And for those of us who were less familiar with Indian fare, we were definitely converted into being fans. The tomato soup was a little spicy, but it warmed us up perfectly. The tandoori chicken was perfectly season, and not full of fatty pieces. Our mixed vegetables and sauce were amazing, and though we can’t exactly describe the taste, we can tell you it was good enough that we used some of our bread to sop up the extra sauce. The rice was the steamed version, which we are a fan of as well, and it makes it a slightly healthier option. By far our favorite part of the meal, however, had to have been the Naan bread. Like pita bread, only a million times better, it is seasoned and cooked so that it perfectly compliments the spicy food, and doesn’t overwhelm you with any flavoring. It was the perfect addition to our buffet meal. They do also offer desserts as part of their buffet, and while we didn’t try the fried doughnuts, they looked and smelled delicious, and our fellow diners couldn’t get enough of them.
Plus, buffets are great because they give you all this food for one price. At $8.95, this buffet is well within most budgets (just think of what you spend at Panera for half a sandwich and soup) and lets you take as much as you want! Now that’s something to look forward to in these tough economic times. Café Spice definitely converted us, and thoroughly satisfied our more seasoned world diner companions. This restaurant is a definite must try for lunch and we look forward to what they will serve at the buffet the next time we go!