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Shahi Grill

Address:1724 Woodlawn Drive

More on Shahi Grill.

By Erin Sullivan | Posted 3/26/2008

We left home looking for a place called Shaheen's, which boasts that it's the "best Indian buffet in the tri-state area" (which states make up that tri-state area, we can't quite figure). But somehow, the Google Maps gods were not on our side, and we ended up driving hopelessly around Woodlawn until we stumbled across the strangest strip mall we've ever visited. It felt like a Bermuda triangle of international restaurants and businesses, all tucked away behind some other strip malls on Woodlawn Drive. There was a mosque, a West African restaurant, a Chinese place, a taqueria, and this Indian/Pakistani buffet called Shahi Grill. It sounded kind of like "Shaheen." And it had a buffet. Why not? For $10.99 per person for dinner, it wasn't the cheapest of cheap eats in the world, but it'd do. What exactly was on the buffet, we still can't say for certain because nothing was labeled and there wasn't a menu in sight. But there was definitely some tandoori chicken and a spicy spinach dish, and some delicious rice generously dosed with cardamom. One thing might have been a lamb vindaloo, and there was something that tasted like lightly spiced sausages. Tasty but difficult to define. Aside from one other table, we were about the only patrons in the place and we spent dinner listening to a guy, who seemed like he was probably the proprietor, talk politics with a friend. It felt a little desolate and a little unwelcoming, so we chowed down and left. But the food was pretty good. And that's what Cheap Eats is really all about, right?

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