A World Away
It was disappointing, but so appropriate. The local, unique, reasonably priced Indian restaurant was nearly empty while the mediocre, expensive chain restaurant was filled to capacity. Those Roanokers. Such Foodies.
Fortunately, the small crowd at Taaza just meant more food for us!
I'd been to Taaza once before for lunch and I remembered the lunch buffet having a nice selection. They happened to be offering the buffet again when we went for dinner and I was looking forward to trying a number of different items. The buffet was $12.95 person and it was all-you-can-eat so it's certainly a good value if you're hungry, which I was. Heck, even if I wasn't hungry, I'm sure I could eat $13 worth of food without breaking a sweat.
There was also a shrimp dish that was very good but I can't remember what it was. I'm working on learning more of the terms associated with Indian food but there are still lots of times when I have no idea what I'm eating. One dish was something like Chicken 35 - what on earth does that mean? I don't know but it tasted good anyway.
Between the various plates of meat and rice, I also loaded up on naan. The naan at Taaza had a nice charred flavor while still being light and fluffy. I'm always a sucker for good naan. It also serves as a great tool for scooping up rice and tikka masala sauce. I assume it's the Indian equivalent of using a biscuit to sop up the extra gravy on your plate, right?
The atmosphere at Taaza is very relaxing. It's elegant enough to be a formal dinner but not so fancy that you can't be casually dressed or have a large group. The service is excellent as the staff are very attentive and make sure your glasses are always full and that you have whatever you need. I've felt like I was well-taken care of during both of my visits to Taaza.
I'd be surprised if people have the same experience across the street at Red Lobster. I guess Taaza is for the exclusive group of people that care about expanding their culinary horizons and trying something different. And when people are willing to give it a try, they usually discover what they've been missing.
Taaza Indian Cuisine
117 Duke of Gloucester Street SW
Roanoke, VA 24014