Welcome to Lunch Bucket List, a recurring feature in which Gut Check checks out the many lunch specials available at restaurants around town. Know a lunch special we should check out? Drop us a line.
The Place: House of India (8501 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-567-6850).
The Deal: All-you-can-eat Indian buffet, including dessert, for $7.95 on weekdays or $8.95 on weekends
When the average St. Louisan thinks of Indian food, nine times out of ten, University City's House of India will come to mind. Known for its delicious, fresh and authentic Indian fare, House of India provides gourmet-tasting food at reasonable prices.
Gut Check had visited House of India for dinner, but heard through the grapevine about the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet. Those five small words catapulted us -- and our hungry stomachs -- to House of India during lunch hours.
Upon our arrival, we learned that the restaurant's buffet boasts two meat dishes, four vegetarian dishes, two salads, rice, bread and last but certainly not least, dessert.
The buffet contained a veritable mélange of dishes, but we managed to try them all. The restaurant provides a large plate, and we stuffed it to the brim with creamy palak paneer (spinach), spicy chicken tikka masala, doughy naan bread and basmati rice. The salad contained fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, and it was light and refreshing after some of the warmer dishes.
Perhaps the best part of the meal, though, was the dessert. The buffet offered ripe, juicy cantaloupe along with kheer, a traditional Indian dessert composed of long-grain basmati rice, milk and coconut. The kheer was light and sweet, and with the fresh cantaloupe, it was the perfect antidote to the spicier dishes we had just consumed.
The Verdict: You'll probably want to return to the buffet table for multiple helpings, but the $8 price limit holds no restrictions on seconds, thirds or even fourths. House of India's all-you-can-eat lunch buffet satisfies guests with not only the promise of a bottomless plate, but also with its large menu, flavorful ingredients and inviting atmosphere.