Table For One: India Palace

Authentic Indian Cuisine in downtown Sarasota? You Decide!

“Be willing to get out of your comfort zone and treat your taste buds to a new experience.” -Dayle Hoffmann

 The exterior of the previous owned Mexican restaurant on Main Street; Azetca hasn’t changed much, except for the color scheme, cuisine and sign; India Palace Authentic Indian Bistro. As for the interior, they took down all the fiesta trinkets and replaced with few authentic items, one noticeable addition during lunch hours – an all you can eat buffet table that holds about 10 or more silver trays. Is it worth the $9.95 price?

Nisha our server is Indian, and was personable after my friend and I decided upon the table outside that was best for us. “American’s prefer white meat and Indian’s have a taste for darker meat,” Nisha explains when I ask her recommendation for lunch, “A popular dark meat dish is chicken mango, as for white meat, butter chicken. If you are vegetarian you’ll love the vegetarian dishes, and our buffet has three dishes to choose from. “

My friend Dr. Summer Honaker; Owner of Chi-Works joined me and opted for the buffet. Me, I prefer to order off the menu, I ordered Veg Samosa (fried crispy patties stuffed with potatoes and peas and seasoned with house spices), and Mulligatawny Soup (lentils tempered with special house spices). While people watching and waiting for lunch, I sipped on Indian style coffee; Madras – I loved it. 

Veg Smosa was delicious, served with two sauces on the side over veggies and on a silver tray. I would order these again, and try the Veg Samosa Chaat. The Mulligatawny Soup disappointed me, I was hoping to taste more spices and find a few whole lentils within making it heartier. Summer said he would come back and try something like I ate off the menu, instead of the buffet.

Choosing to sit outdoors made my experience more enjoyable than the cold plain interior. With the sound of piano music across the way and the small talk around me, how can anyone feel alone, plus the atmosphere outdoors is lively. As a Table For One if I really needed to focus on getting work done, I might opt to sit indoors. 

Next time I’ll bring the Indian menu I got from a friend of mine when visiting NYC. She circled all the dishes she ordered that night and I loved them all. A good thing about the menu at India Palace, they provide a basic Indian 101 description about the dishes. From tandoor, kebabs, lamb and goat specialties, South Indian, seafood and over ten vegetarian dishes; you’ll want to try several plates, and perhaps share with your table. I suggest you try it and decide if it’s authentic enough for you to return. I would love to hear your thoughts.

India Palace Bistro, (941)328-3200, www.indiapalacefl.com. $9.95 All you can eat, everyday from 11:30 to 2:30. Beer and Wine Available. Pet Friendly with Outdoor Seating. Menu prices range from $4.95 – $23.95.

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