New Odessa Indian restaurant

Taste of India restaurant sign
Sign outside the Taste of India restaurant in the Ramada Hotel in Odessa, TX.

I have good news for fans of curry disappointed by the closure of the Indian restaurant formerly located at the Grand Texan hotel in Midland (or the closure of the Thai places, or the general lack of curry options). The chef from the Midland establishment has opened up Taste of India inside the Ramada at the intersection of JBS Parkway and Highway 80 in Odessa. I have eaten at this new Odessa Indian restaurant four times now, and while it isn’t my favorite curry house in the world, well, I have eaten there four times now. Taste of India is a great option to have in the area.

The first time I dined there was about a month ago. It was Sunday after church (Mother’s Day, specifically), and they had been open less than a week. They said they had a buffet every day for lunch and a dinner buffet on Tuesday and Saturday, and we thought that would be a nice way to enjoy a meal on a day when most of the restaurants were apt to be particularly crowded. The challenge was that they decided not to do a buffet that day until later since they wanted to do something special for Mother’s Day. That left us ordering off the menu, which was fine until the food… took… forever… to… get… there. It was over an hour, which left our kids hungry and cranky.

That was mollified since we got some complimentary samosas and the kids ordered mango lassis to drink, but it still took too long. The upside was that we could order exactly the food we wanted, and it was fantastic. We had a fried fish appetizer, some tandoori chicken, garlic naan, eggplant curry, and saag paneer (spinach with cheese). The bill was a little high ordering a la carte, but the food was good enough that I decided to come back the next day and try the buffet.

I am glad I did. The buffet is significantly cheaper ($12.95 plus tax, and that includes naan and iced tea) and offers all of the options I want. There also isn’t any issue with wait time– you simply walk in and eat. The place this restaurant does better than when it was located in Midland is that they no longer offer American items on the menu except for the oddly placed salad bar. You can still order American food, but they aren’t taking up critical buffet space with stuff which isn’t why you came there. If there is something particular you want, they apparently also do a brisk trade in call in orders which folks take home for dinner. The buffet is a decent size, and I could not fit it all in a single shot:

Taste of India buffet line.
Part of the buffet line at Taste of India restaurant in Odessa.

I went to the buffet once by myself, once with a work colleague, and once with two work colleagues. The most recent visit included a somewhat busier restaurant, and that made me happy– I very much want them to do enough business to make a go of it. The food is rather milder than most Indian buffets, although still full of flavor. You can also order it spicier if you order from the menu. The saag paneer is particularly nice, and I am a big fan of something called “Chicken 65.” While I am dubious that anybody in India would know what I meant if I requested a dish by that name, it was cubed chicken served incredibly tender with a dry rub and fried onions.

Chicken 65 at Taste of India.
Chicken 65 at Taste of India.
Buffet plate from Taste of India
A lunch plate from the buffet at Taste of India. I had vegetable pakora, spinach and potatoes, butter chicken, Chicken 65, and chicken biryani.

I hope you will go and give this place a shot. They do solid work and offer a nice buffet spread, and it is a great addition to the restaurant options in the Petroplex.

Other good places to eat:

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