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Restaurant Thu Jun 07 2007

Unleash or Not Unleash, That Is the Question

Vegetarian BuffetThough I'm usually an unrepentant meat eater, I have a tremendous respect for Indian vegetarian cookery. Rich, aromatic, complex and spicy, Indian vegetarian food can satisfy me even when I'm in the mood for something meaty. So, when I found Arya Bhavan, an Indian vegetarian buffet place at 2508 W. Devon, I was quite delighted.

The buffet table at Arya is long. And loaded with such familiar dishes as aloo gobi (potato and califlower), chana masala (chickpeas) and veggie samosas. But there are others--dishes whose ingredients I cannot even guess, let alone their names. (It would be nice if they bothered to put up names of the dishes; I love looking up recipes online after I eat out.) When we ate at Arya, there were slightly sour, stewed baby cucumbers; winter-melon-like vegetable in rich, thick sauce; and something that resembled grits, with mustard seeds and other spices. They were all very good, perhaps with the exception of slightly dried-up naan. We had trained ourselves not to return for seconds--not large seconds, at least--as we explored Indian buffets along Devon, but Arya Bhavan successfuly destroyed our restraint that was the precious fruit of our long struggle. And every bit of those seconds was, well, fantastic.

My favorite vegetarian restaurant along Devon still remains to be Mysore Woodland (ah, their avial!), but I'll definitely be going back to Arya Bhavan. I just have to re-train myself not to gorge...


lepoop / June 12, 2007 12:32 PM

Sadly, something is awry at Mysore Woodlands. Until recently, it was our regular haunt. Our last meal there started off with spoiled mango juice and continued on badly from there. We always get the same thing, and this time nothing was like it used to be.

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