1/20/11: Eating Atlanta

Buford Highway continues to host Atlanta’s finest with Panahar Bangladeshi and Indian Cuisine, which is one of the best of its kind.  Panahar keeps a low profile as an unassuming, unique experience into the rarely ventured cuisine and culture of Bangladesh.

The differences between Bangladeshi and Indian cuisine are not easy to distinguish. The spices were toned down a bit compared to most Indian restaurants’ food, and there were fewer sauce-heavy dishes. Flavors here are earthier than the often sweet or fruity Indian dishes.

For lunch, which this is based on, the serving style was buffet; however, the quality of Bangladeshi and Indian restaurant buffets are better than American buffets and are a common sight for lunch instead of conventional table service.
Panahar presents a consortium of foods from a culture that most average Americans may not be too familiar.

This buffet option offered at Panahar is a welcome relief to the new customer as the decisions are made for them and if one has a question, the staff is happy to help explain each item in the line-up in thorough detail.

The choices were split between the house soup, eight main dishes and a dessert/condiment cart with several chutneys. The house soup was a rich, thick and earthy soup that ends with considerable spice. It was offset, however, by the lighter main dishes which included tandoori chicken, egg curry, shaag paneer, goat meat and potatoes in a brown sauce and the staples, naan and rice.

The two desserts were laal-mohon (whey balls in honey syrup) and firni (spiced rice pudding). Out of all of these choices, the shaag paneer, a creamy spinach and cheese dish, easily outshined its neighbors in the selection with its great texture and taste. The plentiful, moist naan worked well to soak up the juices and bits left behind from the main dishes.

Panahar was appealing in that each dish brings a different style and the avid customer can get a variety of flavors to taste all on the same plate, but Panahar excels in the quality it brings to the entire buffet.

Panahar operates Tuesday through Sunday, with their lunch buffet from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and dinner table service from 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Takeout is also available. Reservations are highly recommended for dinner, considering the low capacity and frequent large parties.

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