It's no secret that Orleans Parish has a dearth of Indian buffets compared to other cities, where steam tables filled with rogan josh and butter chicken are as common as Popeyes are here. Now there's a new, if unlikely, place for Indian food buffs to get their buffet on at lunchtime: the new Whole Foods Market (300 N. Broad Street, 504-434-3364) in Mid-City. Whole Foods in Uptown also has occasioanlly offered Indian food in its buffet line. Near the hot soup bar is a small but surprisingly decent hot line of Indian dishes. On recent visits, selections included chicken tikka masala, vegetable korma, palak paneer, lemon rice and vegetable pakoras.
Diners can fill cardboard containers for $8.99 per pound, or — the more economical option — use one of the foil containers atop the buffet; it's $9.99 plus tax for the foil container, no matter how much you manage to cram inside, and it's plenty for lunch and dinner combined. You can take it home or eat at one of the small booths in the front of the store. A Whole Foods representative said Indian food is one of several rotating options offered by the store.