Affordable and Full of Flavor

28 Apr
Chicken Tikka Masala, a creamy chicken dish that's rich and full of flavor.Photo provided by Melissa C., courtesy of yelp.com.

Chicken Tikka Masala, a creamy chicken dish that’s rich and full of flavor.Photo provided by Melissa C., courtesy of yelp.com.

If you’re like me, you get tired of going to chain restaurants and fast-food joints. How many times can one go to Applebee’s or McDonald’s before you’ve  finally had enough?

As much as I like the aforementioned restaurants, I also love  trying different types of cuisine, and I’m not talking about Chinese or Mexican food. Restaurants that serve that sort of food are a dime-a-dozen in Bakersfield. I’m talking about greek food, italian food and my all-time favorite, indian cuisine.

When I moved to Bakersfield to attend California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB), I made it my mission to find Indian restaurants and chow down on my favorite kind of food. Of course, when I moved to Bakersfield, I didn’t have a car so I was not able to go to any restaurants until several months later after getting one.

I’ve been to three different Indian restaurants here in Bakersfield  and have enjoyed each one of them!

So what is it about Indian food that I like so much? I love eating naan, which is an oven-baked flatbread that’s served with your food; samosas, which are crispy turnovers containing peas, potatoes and spices and of course, curry, which is a spicy type of sauce that’s mixed with whatever you order (whether it be a veggie or meat dish).

Not many people like curry, as it can be very spicy depending on how hot you want your order to be. Restaurants can customize though, which is good because not everyone can handle the heat from eating dishes containing curry. But to me, it’s worth it because Indian food is that good.

That being said, here are the three Indian restaurants you should check out:

  • Cafe India has an amazing lunch buffet with various chicken dishes, as well as vegetarian dishes. I would recommend trying the tofu masala (tofu cooked in a rich tomatoey sauce)  and the chicken curry. Both of those dishes are excellent and full of flavor. The chicken curry might be a little spicy, but nothing that would make you feel like you’ll breathe fire if you eat it. For more information about Cafe India and the lunch buffet hours, visit http://www.cafeindiabakersfield.com/
Restaurant Taj-Mahal, another fine indian restaurant here in Bakersfield. Photo provided by Tony L., courtesy of yelp.com

Restaurant Taj-Mahal, another fine indian restaurant here in Bakersfield. Photo provided by Tony L., courtesy of yelp.com

  • Taj Mahal Cuisine of India is another top-notch indian restaurant that offers a lunch buffet on the weekdays from 11 am-3 pm. Taj Mahal has mostly vegetarian dishes during the buffet hours, but they also have two or three chicken dishes as well. I love the Chickpea curry they make. It’s rich and full of flavor and they also have pakora, which are vegetables coated in a batter of gram flour and are then deep fried. Unfortunately, Taj Mahal does not have a website, but the restaurant is located at 5416 California Avenue Bakersfield, CA 93309. They can be reached at 661-633-2222 if you have questions about their menu, how spicy their food is, etc.
Gulab Jamun, which are cheese balls cooked in honey. Photo provided by http://www.zaikaindiancuisine.com

Gulab Jamun, which are cheese balls cooked in honey. Photo provided by http://www.zaikaindiancuisine.com

  • And finally, there’s Zaika Indian Cuisine and Bar. As much as I enjoy eating at the other two restaurants, Zaika is, without a doubt, the best indian restaurant in Bakersfield. They also have a lunch buffet, but unlike the former two restaurants, Zaika offers their buffet EVERYDAY from 11 am-3 pm. On the weekends though, they offer champagne with the buffet. So for all of you over the age of 21 and like drinking champagne, this is a win win combination: Top quality food and champagne. I would recommend trying their Samosas and their Gulab Jamun, which are cheese balls dipped in honey. Sweet and tasty. For more information, visit their website http://www.zaikaindiancuisine.com.

If you’re looking to try something new and something that’s mouth watering, I would highly encourage you to dine at one (or all three at some point) of these restuarants. You won’t be sorry, and even better, you get your money’s worth.

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