For being a shopping-plaza utopia, Henrietta has a surprising amount of decent places to eat. Sure, you’ve got your typical franchise shops like Taco Bell, Wendy’s, and Burger King, but you’ve also got your upscale (as in, fast food for the bourgeoisie) franchises like DiBella’s and Panera. And if you want to eat actual food, you’ve got a decent pick of places to go. Craving Indian food like I was at the end of the last week? Well, you’ve got about three places to pick from. But let’s start with the one I know best: Tandoor of India.
Don’t crucify me for this one, but I’d never actually had Indian food before coming to this school. Hell, I’d never even tried it before. I’m from a town near the Catskills where the entire spread of cultural diversity there lived in my neighborhood: Good ole’ Barclay Heights. In fact, the first time I tried Indian food was at Tandoor, and it was from hanging out with one of my oldest buds on campus during one of the hottest days of the summer. That experience of delicious food, a home-like atmosphere, and great customer service brings me back every time, making it one of my go to places for eating out.
I got that same cozy feeling from my most recent visit last week. With a plate of chicken masala and a bed of rice to its side, some fried cheese, and a side of naan bread with sweet and spicy dipping sauces, I’d put myself in the best possible situation for getting myself warm in the winter.
My meal started with the fried cheese as an appetizer, which could’ve been the end of my meal if it wasn’t for the fact that I was splitting it. Seriously, the stuff was insanely good, and also insanely filling. Moving on, the chicken masala was creamy and deliciously hot, tickling the corners of my mouth with its spices. The jasmine rice went well in clumps with my chicken masala’s creamy sauce, making for a soft mush to fill myself up with. The naan was buttery and soft, going well in both the spicy and the sweet sauces.
The servers were well-dressed and polite, constantly coming back and forth to check if the table I was at needed more water or to see if the quality of the food brought out was okay. You’ve got to hand it to the owners of Tandoor, they know how to get the message across to their staff that customer service is important.
The place also looks quaint, but that might just come from the style associated with Indian cuisine and culture. (I’m a little in the dark here, but that’s just my best guess.) All of the tables are dressed with an ornate, white table-cloth, with warm, red, hand-towels to accompany them. The glasses they use for water are left on each table, crystal clean, as if to show how well-kept the restaurant is. Lastly, there’s a few TVs playing some Indian-produced networks, mostly running music videos by Indian artists. The owners of Tandoor must’ve spent some time mulling over how to make their customers feel relaxed and comfortable during their dining experience. Even with the food at Tandoor being as delicious as it is, I could almost recommend that anyone go just for the atmosphere.
Tandoor is located in Jefferson Plaza, which can be reached by hopping off at the third stop from Rush Rhees on the Saturday Green Line (or by taking a short Uber if you’ve got the spare dollars). If you can make it, be sure to try going for their Tuesday dinner buffets after 5 p.m. for $12.99. It’s an incredibly good deal, and the restaurant will likely leave you wanting to come back for more.