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In a word: Pay attention to the name, because this one is good, too.

The specs: #00957   
1707 Thierer Rd., 53704
Details at Yelp, Click to add a blog post for Maharana on Zomato
Official web site, Facebook

Latest Maharana news and reviews

We both had the buffet, plus a chai and a lemonade.
The bill was $30, or $15/person, plus tip.
JM gave Maharana a B+; Nichole gave Maharana an A- (see our grading rubric).

Maharana is located on the far east side, where Maharaja used to be. Madison has some really good Indian restaurants with the lunch buffet/dinner menu thing.  Fortunately, Maharana falls right into line with the rest, providing solid takes on standard foods and a few interesting variations.

The lunch buffet offered upwards of 20 warm dishes, including a tender goat curry and favorites like palak paneer, tandoori chicken and chicken tikka masala. Biryani and plain basmati rice were there, plus several noodle dishes. Cashews were common, as were yogurt and cream based sauces, which made for many hearty options. There was also a standard-plus salad bar and the regular relishes.

One fun unique item was the pani poori - puffed shells of probably chickpea batter, set out with fillings and a watery dressing. While delicious, the logistics of assembling one while standing at the buffet would have been tricky. We probably could have brought a plate of fixin's back to the table to play with. Maybe next time. Also interesting and tasty was a rich, sweet coconut soup and a hot plate of fried fish.  It smelled divine, though neither of us had any.

A plate of naan was on our table by the time we returned with our lunches, and it was fresh and hot with a light brush of butter. We'd snagged samosas, which were delightfully salty and crisp and also substantial. 

Buffet plate

Maharana enters a pretty crowded market but has the good fortune to be on a side of town with not a ton of Indian food, so it could make a good entry into the rotation for locals.


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