Tuesday, December 27, 2011

DINERS DISH: Taj Mahal -- Great Food, but Iffy Service

I've lived all over the country -- Seattle, Spokane, Washington, D.C., Reno, Las Vegas, and a few other places besides.  I love Indian food, and I thought I'd had the best Indian food ever at a little place on Dupont Circle in D.C.  
That was until I tried Columbia's own Taj Mahal a few years ago.  I've been a regular ever since. 
If you like Indian food, or even if you just want to add a little exotique to your lunch, the Taj's lunch sumptuous buffet can't be beat.  The Taj delivers consistently good eats, day in and day out.   Parking is easy -- it's catty-wampus from the downtown post office, next to former school board member Elton Fay's law office.  

A typical buffet plate might include tandoori chicken, chicken tikka, a side of chutney, and another side of something new you've never heard of before that tastes out of this world.  On a cold day, the hot tea next to the buffet is perfect.  On a warm day, beer, ice water, soda -- whatever.  It all goes well.  
From my experience, the wait staff is on top of everything with a side order of naan, a traditional flat bread, and drinks.  But other reviews, particularly of the Taj's service, are decidedly mixed.  "The food is great.  I've been there several times and the service is slow but the food makes up for it every time," wrote one Urban Spoon reviewer, in a typically divided take on food over service, which isn't that important with a buffet.  

I've also been to the Taj several times for dinner with friends and ordered out for delivery.  Each time, we've had good service and great food. 

Price is around $8.95/person for the buffet, with naan and tea.  You'll be stuffed -- and you'll be back.   Taj Mahal is located at 19 N. 5th St Columbia,  (573) 256-6800.

Other reviews of Taj Mahal at UrbanSpoon and Yelp!:  


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