Monday, August 31, 2009

Milan Indian Cuisine Reviewed

Because I heard so much clamoring (in my head) for the return of our reviews, I’ve decided to continue reviewing all-you-can-eat buffets in Charlottesville this fall. Even if you’re just here checking up on which firms have made callbacks, you can still learn something about the world you inhabit. And if any of my columns happen to be humorous at times, that’s not bad either because nothing funny is happening in the legal job market world. Anyhoo, for our first trip as 3Ls (!), Justincredible and Rhino and I took a quick lunch break from our crushing Friday class schedule (read: no class) to check out Milan, easily Charlottesville’s most or second most famous Indian buffet. It sits up 29 from Barracks Road Shopping Center across from the bigger Kroger 1 mile down from the Barracks Kroger.

Ambiance

Fairly somber. Many of the customers were eating with familiars from work or family – the kinds of people you can eat with and not feel the need to fill awkward silences or, indeed, any silence. The cloth tablecloths and napkins set up a nice contrast with the cafeteria-style warmers on which food sat. As an aside, has anyone else noticed that when Chinese (or Indian or Thai) people eat at a Chinese (or Indian or Thai) restaurant, they’re not eating what the Americans are eating? They always get about 15 bowls of some stuff you’ve never even seen before. What, the fried bastardized versions of your own cuisine aren't good enough for you?

Grade - B

Décor

Not terrible. Milan had some nice frame murals and other wall decorating art purporting to be Indian. In the finest of American attitudes towards other cultures, I accept the restaurant’s representations at face value and assume it was beautiful Indian art. Rhino: Impressively textured ceiling. These pictured statues guarded a bowl of mints and a bowl of green potpourri which Justincredible sampled and reported tasted like potpourri. In a related subject, Justincredible is a moron.

Grade - B

Service

Fair. A soda order got me exactly one Coke – I wish I’d known this ahead of time, because I sucked that b**** down within 5 minutes of getting seated. It sat on our table sadly waiting for a refill for the entire meal. If I ran Milan I’d be letting customers get their own drinks from a soda fountain – surely all-you-can-drink soda is cheaper than all-you-can-eat chicken. Or I’d take away used glasses instead of letting it taunt me with an anachronistic store policy about refills. On the plus side for Milan, water refills came quickly. Also, evidently it kills the server staff to smile on the job, but I didn’t see any servers die on duty.

Grade – B-

Food

Continuing an unsurprising theme from previous all-you-can-eat buffets in the 22903, the food was the best part. Milan offered a limited selection of entrée items but they were nearly spectacular. The vegetable fritters (my translation) (Rhino: aka “the poor man's smosas”) were delicious, especially with the Indian sweet and sour sauce . The cheese cubes in an orange sauce and its close cousin, chicken in an orange sauce, were excellent. The beef with veggies (also adapted translation) was also quite good. The naan (flat bread) was excellent and made a nice spoon/shovel for aid in consuming the other food. Rhino: Their tactic of smaller containers and constant refills (versus the large tub of food favored by American buffets) was outstanding for ensuring freshness.

Grade – A

Price – $10 ($8 without drink)

Overall Grade – B+

4 comments:

justincredible said...

in my defense, the bowl had a spoon in it. damnit, if i'm at a buffet and there is a bowl containing a(somewhat) edible looking food-like substance with a spoon sticking out of it, i'm taking a scoop.

in brighter news, my sense of taste and vision have finally returned.

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mukhwas

Anonymous said...

Not such good folks there: http://www.c-ville.com/index.php?cat=141404064434008&ShowArticle_ID=11432101083899779

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