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Paradise Indian - Northern and Southern Dishes on Elden Street in Herndon

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The next time your always-late sister causes you to have some time to kill in the Herndon area, duck into Aditi Spice Depot on Elden Street. You'll find they have fresh curry leaves (score!) and a new idli steamer to replace your tired, post-apocalyptic stage prop that has become your old device.

On the way out, ask the cashier where in Herndon is worth checking out for Indian cuisine. He'll recommend, among other places, Paradise Indian which is "just up the street" (he'll point to the left).

When your sister finally arrives, and you realize the restaurant she chose is not open for lunch on Sunday, it will all be OK. You'll have a backup plan just down the street (point left).

Today's expansive buffet was, at $12, a flavorful bargain. Normally not a fan of the spoon-n-go method of eating, I'd return here in a heartbeat. Exceptional flavor and freshness throughout, standouts being gobhi fry (cauliflower), goat curry, coconut chutney, lime pickle, and anything with chick peas or the exceptional house-made paneer. Numerous servers kept the buffet astutely clean and rightfully filled. Unlimited 10 ounce bottles of water seemed to be included in the price of the buffet, helpful since several dishes featured deeply spicy creations. We found the service personally attentive and friendly for a buffet. Soiled plates disappeared quickly, waters replaced rapidly, and the bag of ice I requested for the cooler in my car was met with not only a smile, but with a waterproof-wrapped version reflecting exceptional care.

By the time we left around 2:00, we were the only non-Indian patrons in a very packed, very satisfied patron restaurant brimming with efficiency. From Alexandria, I'm pointing up and to the left, you should go, check it out.

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