Who wouldn't love an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet in the heart of Evanston
's shopping district? I can't think of anyone. At this spacious, elegant and surprisingly affordable spot across from the historic Evanston Library, diners young and old gorge on the fresh veggies, warm naan
bread and milky rice pudding at the $8.95 lunch buffet. Mt. Everest also has a wide selection of impeccable Indian and Nepalese dishes if you're not into heat lamps. There's also a separate party room in the basement, excellent service and a pleasant, no-pressure ambiance.
For those who miss the spectacular lunch buffet filled with rich palak paneer (warm minced spinach cooked with generous chunks of cottage cheese), moist tandoori chicken (roasted in a clay oven until it's bright red) and the Nepalese Khasi Ko Maasu (goat meat cooked with spices and herbs), don't worry; the actual menu has all those dishes covered.
At lunch or dinner, a friendly yet professional server will bring over your basket of naan while you gaze at the realist oil paintings of Nepal. Fixate on the one featuring oxen carrying white bags as the snowy white mountains pop up in the background and, along with the soothing Indian music, you'll soon feel as though you've been transported to another land. The sumptuous offerings might send you on another trip—to the land of food comas.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Alicia Eler