Located inside the unappealing Days Inn on Banksville Road is the "new" Namaste India Restaurant, formerly located at 3101 Banksville Rd. in the Kuhn's Market Plaza. It opened in its new location on New Year's Day. My wife and I dined there for brunch Sunday, Jan. 6.
My quick take letter grades for the "new" Namasate India:
Food Quality and Taste: A (caveat: rather spicy)
Selection of Items: B-
Comfort and Attractiveness of the Restaurant: A+
Warmth and Welcoming Quality of the Staff: D
Value for the Price Paid: A+
When one walks in the door of Namaste, they are transported into another world, away from the shabby environment of the hotel and into a spacious, attractive, modern, and comfortable restaurant.
The buffet is priced at an extraordinary $7.99 for Sunday lunch, which begins at noon. The price includes chai tea, for which some Indian restaurants charge $2.95 a la carte. There is a sign facing Banksville Road which indicates that the buffet is $6.99 (apparently on weekdays). I was told by a worker that there is a dinner buffet every night, which would make Namaste the only area Indian restaurant to offer this feature.
The items featured today included the standard small salad bar, basmati rice, Indo-Asian vegetable fried rice, a mushroom and onion dish, vegetable korma, chicken curry, chicken tandoori, chicken wings, pokora, samosa, fruit salad, and rice pudding. The diner's choice of naan (Indian bread) is brought to the table and included in the buffet price. Missing from the buffet was my favorite Indian dish, Aloo Gobi (cauliflower and potatoes). My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the fresh, hot garlic naan. Everything was flavorful, delicious, albeit a bit more spicy than I would prefer.
I fear for the future of the restaurant because during the time we dined, no customers arrived. There was only one patron present during our meal, a gentleman that was seated when we arrived.
The two individuals that served us were unwelcoming, unsolicitous, and unresponsive to conversation, which is surprising to me for a restaurant in a new location which surely wishes to succeed. No one asked us if our food was satisfactory, what we thought of the new restaurant, nor were we invited to return. Return we shall, though, as there are many positive attributes of this restaurant, including the ability for us to drive miles less than we would when traveling to Oakland, Squirrel Hill, and North Hills for the Indian food that we love!