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Walking into Taste of India, you instantly smell the delicious spices and food that are part of the Indian culture. The walls are covered with artwork and music from India plays throughout the medium-sized restaurant, giving it a homey feel.

My family and I started our dinner with numerous appetizers, including the Mixed Platter. This appetizer would feed two people and consisted of Alu Tikki (fried spiced potato patties), Chicken Pakora (spiced chicken fritters), Bhajia (well-seasoned vegetable fritters), Tofu Pakora (tofu fried in a chickpea batter) and Beef and Alu Samosas (pastries filled with either beef or potatoes). The appetizers were all delicious, with a perfect blend of spices and flavors.

For our main course, we ordered Black Dal, which is made from black lentils and seasoned with ginger and garlic. It was very well seasoned and the rice it came with was a nice complement. We also ordered Saag Alu, a spinach and potato dish. I am usually not a spinach lover, but I enjoyed this dish. Another spinach dish we had was the Chana Saag, spinach and chickpeas. We then tried the Beef Biryani, a rice dish flavored with beef, broccoli and saffron and garnished with cashews and raisins. It was good, but the earthy flavor was a bit much for my taste. My favorite dish of the night was the Chicken Makhani. This particularly delectable dish includes pieces of chicken breast prepared in a tomato, butter and cream sauce and garnished with cashews and raisins.

We also enjoyed the homemade Naan, traditional Indian bread. We had the plain Naan as well as the Alu Naan (naan stuffed with potatoes). The staff was very attentive and the food came out promptly.

Connected to Taste of India’s dining room is a banquet hall. Although there was a banquet going on while we were there, we couldn’t hear any of the chatter from it. The restaurant also offers a very reasonably priced lunch buffet, where you can get 16 different dishes for $8.95 on weekdays and $9.95 on weekends. On Tuesday nights, a dinner buffet can be had for $13.95.

The friendly staff, delicious food and remarkable atmosphere make me want to return again and again.

Emily DeRoo is a senior at Williamsville North High School.