Friday I had an internationally-themed lunch with a friend. We started with lunch at Star of India at 2267 NW Military Hwy in the Winston Hills shopping center. I love the spicy aroma that hits you when you walk into the restaurant. The dining room is tranquil and relaxing. A flat-screen TV was playing a Bollywood movie but the volume was low and didn’t interfere with our conversation.
My friend and I both decided on the lunch buffet so we could sample a variety of Indian dishes. The buffet was delicious – fresh, hot and nicely seasoned. There were about 15 choices on the buffet including two rice dishes, vegetable samosas, naan bread, chicken tikka masala, chicken curry, meatballs, tandoori chicken, saag paneer (spinach), channa masala (chick peas) and lentil soup. I sampled a little of everything as you can see from my picture. A cold buffet line contained salad and desserts. Rice pudding, mango pudding and gulab jamun (sweetened milk balls) were offered in the dessert area. One of my favorite items at this restaurant is the chai tea containing tea, spices, milk and sugar. At $2 a cup this is a bargain because the host refills your cup as many times as you desire. Our only problem was that in one serving the sugar was accidentally replaced with salt. Our server quickly brought us a new cup and apologized several times.
I have eaten at Star of India several times and the service, food and atmosphere are always very good. With the ubiquitous $1 off coupons (you can print one off the website) the lunch buffet with chai tea was just under $10. However, the restaurant never seems to be very crowded. The never-ending road construction on Lockhill-Selma behind the restaurant and the location at the back of the shopping center may be contributing to the lack of traffic. I hope they will be able to stay in business.
After lunch we walked to All’s Fair: Fair Trade Gift Boutique. This small shop sells handmade crafts, jewelry and clothing from all over the world. Equal Exchange coffee, tea and chocolate are also sold here. Owner Hollye Smith Schwartz opened the store as a community service to provide income to small businesses in many countries. The prices are very reasonable. The store spotlights a different country each month (September is the Phillipines) and offers a guest speaker related to the country. The store also has a meeting room space availabe for Bible studies, birthday parties or meetings. The owner also sells these items at churches and at festivals. She was at my church a month or so ago selling items between services.
My friend and I then made a stop at the Great Harvest bakery next door for loaves of their delicious cinnamon chip bread. I also accompanied my friend to Burger Bistro on the end of the shopping center so that she could ask them for a donation for an event at her son’s school. The manager was very nice to her and the menu looked like something my husband and son would enjoy. I hope to return soon to try out the burgers.