Cheap Bastard

I Want It All

Lunch special: Buffet $5.99

Water refills: 20

Plate refills: 20

A tasty food magnet drew my car to the "$5.99 Buffet" sign in front of Taj Express. And I would like to take this moment to thank that magnet for bringing the wonder and merriment of the Indian food buffet into my life. Before today, I thought I had to pay full price for naan and tandoori chicken and Taj Mahal murals. I thought that even though this Indian restaurant used to be a Pizza Hut, it wasn't gonna hit me up with any coupons or specials. Taj Express changed all that for me. And I will be forever grateful.

For $5.99, the buffet selection at Taj Express is badass. Personally, I could get thrown out of any Indian restaurant for munching all-you-can-eat naan dipped in tamarind sauce until the place is wiped out of every kind of flatbread. (So what if I've got a low bar for what counts as a badass buffet?) So, instead of me telling you everything I ate, I'll tell you everything that's on the buffet and you can do your own personal buffet grading. a

OK. So, moving from left to right down the buffet line, we start with some kind of hot brown soupy stuff. Let's call it "soup." Next, we've got a salad bar with all kinds of fixin's, including your standard mint chutney (chunky green exclamation points and smiley faces sauce), some kind of melt-your-face-off red spicy sauce and the aforementioned tamarind-based sauce. Now, we move past the cash register to the real stuff. We've got papadams, we've got basmati rice, we've got fried veggies and naan. We're looking at some seriously yummy tandoori chicken, the best beany concoction you'll ever eat in your life, some creamy cheesy spinach stuff, something involving a lot of cabbage, more fried veggies and we're done.

If you haven't eaten a lot of Indian food, this buffet would be a good training wheels place to start. I mean, who doesn't like fried veggies? (People who should never be trusted and who deserve a People's Elbow to the uterus, that's who.) Overall, the dishes were pretty mild, so unless you snort the red sauce you're walking away with no internal damage, burp contest-winning burps and change in your pocket.

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Alice Laussade writes about food, kids, music, and anything else she finds to be completely ridiculous. She created and hosts the Dallas event, Meat Fight, which is a barbecue competition and fundraiser that benefits the National MS Society. Last year, the event raised $100,000 for people living with MS, and 750 people could be seen shoving sausage links into their faces. And one time, she won a James Beard Award for Humor in Writing. That was pretty cool.
Contact: Alice Laussade

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