Gut Check has been looking back on the Riverfront Times Best of St. Louis 2012, but we're also keeping an eye on the Best of St. Louis 2013 by nominating finalists for our awards this fall. To see hundreds more winners and finalists, suggest your own contenders and download the Riverfront Times Best of St. Louis mobile app, visit our Best of St. Louis homepage.
From restaurants that are bright and splashy to those that are nestled in unassuming strip malls, St. Louis has Indian restaurants to suit most any taste and budget (lots of these have excellent lunch buffets). So read to find where to get the best saag paneer, lamb vindaloo or a little something known as a "Bollywood Popper."
India's Rasoi (25 North Euclid Avenue; 314-361-6911) A modern twist on the standard Indian restaurant, India's Rasoi offers a sleek, colorful atmosphere and serves up equally bright dishes, not the least of which includes a "Bollywood Popper," an Anaheim pepper stuffed with shrimp in a coconut sauce. Or try a unique fusion dish, the spicy "Calcutta Fish and Chips" that demonstrates the wonderful impact of Indian cuisine has had on Great Britain. But don't worry, your traditional Indian favorites are still very much a part of the menu, ready to be enjoyed with basmati rice served in abundance alongside its excellent golden-brown naan. Tandoori offerings are classed up with the spicy, complex and exceptionally tender masadelar lamb chops, and palak paneer -- cubes of homemade cheese in creamed spinach -- is right on the money. Though India's Rasoi's inspired menu is bit pricier than some of the other locations on this list, its distinctive dishes are more than worth it.
Gokul Indian Restaurant (6101 Delmar Boulevard; 314-721-1888) Sitting on the eastern end of the Delmar Loop, Gokul is a 100 percent vegetarian restaurant that offers both a set menu and an all-you-can-eat buffet. It is wondrous. For a mere $6.99 the lunch buffet is one of the best deals in town with no less than ten main dishes that are always accompanied by many fried appetizers and side dishes as well as desserts including kheer (rice pudding) and gulab jamun, milk pastry balls served in syrup. Traditional Indian fare includes the reliable saag paneer, a creamy sauce made with homemade cheese and spinach, or the vegetable korma, packed with a variety of vegetables drenched in a rich tomato sauce. And of course be sure to grab an order of naan to soak up every drop of it.
House of India (8501 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-567-6850) We were all a bit traumatized when word came that House of India was closing after a small fire a few months back. Thankfully, Riverfront Times' Best Indian Restaurant of 2012 came back better than ever, complete with new carpeting! The University City staple has sat atop the ranks of St. Louis' Indian cuisine for seventeen years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. A quick drive up Interstate 170 to the Delmar exit gets you straight to House of India's lunch buffet, and then it's on. Load up your plate with creamy vegetable korma, red tandoori meats straight out of the clay oven, doughy naan and rice pudding. And if that isn't incentive enough, House of India charges a flat rate of $5 per pound for a to-go buffet selection. If you're there for dinner, try lamb vindaloo or chicken karahi -- you know what? Pick whatever you want; it's going to be good.
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