Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Indigma's grand lunch buffet

Indigma, located at 801 North Charles Street, touts itself as "the best modern Indian restaurant in Baltimore City." I must concur. What makes Indigma special? First of all, they have a romantic setting. The restaurant has high ceilings, chandeliers, colorful walls, and large windows that look out onto the iconic Washington Monument in Mount Vernon Park. (I bring all of my out-of-town visiting guests to Indigma because it is sure to impress on appearance alone.) But what's more important than looks is the food.
The best way to sample this fresh, inventive, and delicious food is at Indigma's lunch buffet, available Saturday and Sundays from 12-3pm and weekdays from 11:30am-2:30pm. This truly grand buffet offers all-you-can-eat lunch with salads, condiments (including excellent pickle), traditional snacks, desserts/fruits, and breads.

The highlight of the lunch buffet is their sambar (photo below). It is a rich, savory, and addictive stew. On a recent visit my boyfriend polished off six bowls of it. The other food items on the buffet are variable, but, thankfully, the sambar seems to be a staple. Also of note, the "spicy salad" is wickedly hot and flavorful with fresh veggies, onions, and chickpeas.      
Indigma uses a color scheme to denote which buffet dishes are vegetarian (usually green). Even more impressive, they have started posting labels for dietary preferences on each buffet dish, including the biranyi and rice. For example, the smooth and subtly spicy chenna masala gets labeled "G-F, VEG, VGN." One word of caution here is that the servers often bring a gratis basket of non-vegan naan to your table. I recommend ordering a vegan roti or chapati instead.         

Sadly, the buffet isn't available at dinner. However I have visited Indigma for dinner and the restaurant has some amazing vegan fusion dishes that are not found on the buffet, as well as killer cocktails.

Remember the moment in the film The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy hugs the Scarecrow goodbye and cries, "I think I'll miss you most of all!"? This is what I've been thinking about Indigma's grand lunch buffet, as I prepare to leave Oz for Kansas. Or rather, in my case, move from the Technicolor dining world of Baltimore back to Sepia Tone DC. (Please expect to see more DC restaurants featured on this blog soon. Because: "there's no place like home.")

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