Winner: India Palace
8474 Fredericksburg Road, (210) 692-5262, indiapalacesatx.com
This busy Medical Center spot has long been a dependable choice for either a quick lunch that takes advantage of its bountiful buffet or a leisurely a la carte dinner that trades on the chefs' skilled handling of the tandoori oven. (The buffet is available both for lunch and dinner, but Indian food's so much better cooked to order, so why rush if there's no need?) The Palace specializes in Punjabi cuisine, arguably the subcontinent's most approachable, and its aromatic spices and velvety sauces strike a crowd-pleasing note. It's also hard for vegetarians to go wrong with the abundant options. Service is efficient and unobtrusive, plus the kitchen does an admirable job of keeping the buffet stocked so food remains fresh — not always a guarantee at a restaurant steam table.
2. Bombay Hall Indian Cuisine
8783 Wurzbach Road
3. Simi's India Cuisine
4535 Fredericksburg Road, Suite 109