Tulsi – Indian Lunch Buffet
Address: 2101 Columbia Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17603
Phone: (717) 509-7771
Lunch Buffet: Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm $9.95
Sat & Sun 12pm-3pm $11.95
Typical lunch/dinner: Naan, basmati rice, 4 vegetarian selections, 3 chicken selections (Tandoori, Masala, curry, etc.), sometimes a lamb dish, fruit, 2 sweet desserts.
I visited Tulsi on a Saturday. They do not open until noon on Saturdays and the buffet was not setup when I entered. It took maybe another 10 minutes or so for items to come trickling out of the kitchen. They had a small salad setup with iceberg lettuce, carrots, cucumber and tomatoes. There were a few traditional Indian dressings but I never know the names of them. There was a hot sauce, a pickled mixed vegetables, cucumber Raita (a yogurt based one), a mint chutney and tamarind chutney.
The there was naan, white Basmati rice, fried potatoes (pretty much french fries), Tandoori chicken with onions and peppers, Chicken Tikka Masala, Curry Chicken, a potato, green bean and tomato dish, a vegetable curry, a bean dish and Saag Paneer (creamed spinach type dish). The desserts were fruit salad (cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes & pineapple), Sooji Halva (a sugary nut paste) and Gulab Jamun (deep-fried dough balls soaked in syrup).
The sauces were all very good. I especially liked the cucumber Raita and the tamarind chutney. The naan was very good, it was warm and buttery. The fried potatoes were nice, a bit crispy. The Basmati rice was just plain rice, nothing to mention really. The Tandoori Chicken was good, it was drumsticks and thighs, cooked perfectly and the favor was nice. Both the the Chicken Tikka Masala and Curry Chicken was much to dry and overcooked. They used very large pieces of breast meat and they were almost inedible from being so well done. The potato, green bean tomato dish was pleasant although some of the potatoes were slightly undercooked. The vegetable curry was probably the best dish, it had potatoes, green beans, corn and probably other vegetables. The Saag Paneer was also very good. The fruit seemed fresh and was okay. The Sooji Halva, which I normally don’t like as it’s too sweet, was very good. It was hot and not overly syrupy. The Gulab Jamun was delicious, I’ve never had it before. It’s a paste of cashews, peanuts and possibly other nuts, it was very good.
There was not a single other customer here while I had lunch (probably an hour long) which is a terrible sign. It’s located within Travelodge and this may have to do with some of the lack of customers as you almost can not tell it’s there.
My first “server” turned out to be a prospective buyer of the restaurant and asked me a bunch of questions regarding what I liked and disliked. He said he is thinking about purchasing the restaurant and has only been there for three days.
I had a difficult time getting water at first but once they had gotten the buffet out the service was better. They also took about 15 minutes to turn the lights on, not quite sure why that was. My server was pleasant and did a good job of clearing empty plates. The restaurant itself (inside) is very nice and extremely clean including the restrooms. They have a full bar and a TV but it was not on. Over all I would say this is an okay place. There really are only two Indian restaurants in this area so it’s not a bad option but it certainly is nothing exceptional or great.