I can start this by saying that I've never considered myself a fan of Indian food. Because of this belief, I don't recall having Indian food for 20 years. My family never made it or went to an Indian restaurant. The first time I went was with some co-workers and I hated every single thing I tried. Of course in those days, my diet consisted of chicken wings, pasta and pizza and Snapple. Things have changed a lot.
A buffet seemed like a good idea, because I wouldn't have to decide what I wanted nor would I have to eat anything I didn't like. For an Indian food buffet in Fort Lauderdale, you go to Madras, who have a buffet every day. The place is located in a mostly abandoned strip mall on the corner of Powerline and McNab road. Not exactly downtown anywhere. Once inside, the place is pretty nice.
There were a few tables occupied but there was a booth available. I got an iced tea ($2.75) which is served in a very large glass with lemon. My first pass at the buffet, I started off with Sambar; a lentil soup with tamarind spice.
Madras Sanbar Soup
It was pretty good, not particularly flavorful or spicy, but not bad.
One think that I liked was that the dishes were clearly labeled, so I could look up the specific ingredients of each dish and figure out what I was eating.
Madras Cafe Labels
I grabbed a plate of caesar salad, Tandoori Chicken and Lamb Vindaloo. I'm not sure why they had Caesar Salad, but the dressing was awful. Something right from a bottle. The lamb was quite good; more sweet than spicy, and the Chicken was very good.
Madras Caesar Salad, Lamb Vindaloo and Chicken Tandoori
Another swing buy the buffet landed me a plate of new items to try.
Naan, Aloo Gobi, Kovalam Beach Poriyal and Bhajiya
Without going item by item, most of what I had here was pretty good tasting; and also luke warm. The dishes that I liked the best was the Kavalum Beach Poriyal, which are vegetables with coconuts, mustard and curry leaves. I was a bit surprised, because it doesn't sound appealing to me. I also liked the Dal Makhani, made with red kidney beans, ginger and garlic.
For dessert, I like the Gulab Jamun, which is deep fried milk ball. Odd, but tasty. I didn't like the other one, which was some sort of Festival pudding. Not terrible, but nothing I'd want again.
Madras Gulab Jamun and Festival
My assessment of this buffet, which costs $11.95 Monday through Thursday, is that it's decent food for the price. The selection doesn't rival the larger buffets, but everything is pretty good quality. Nothing crazy good, but nothing really bad other than the salad dressing. My biggest criticism is that most things were cold; not ice cold but not close to being hot. I got here at 1:30 and there were only a few tables so they weren't putting much out. I'd suggest getting here early if you want warmer food. I suspect that they run the tables low so as not to dry out the food, but the later you get here the colder the food will be.