I love living in a city where a variety of food is available to me. Where a multitude of cultures sits outside my door beckoning me with a myriad of aromas and flavors.
Yesterday, with a bone chilling 45* outside, a coworker and I decided to adventure out and find something that would not only silence our crumbling stomachs but would satisfy our need for a warm comfort-food.
We headed three miles north to Swagat, an All-You-Can-Eat Indian Buffet (apparently they also have locations in Beaverton and Hillsboro). Nestled on NW 21st I'm sure it can be easily overlooked if you don't know it's there, tucked away under trees and behind another cafe.
Swagat serves mostly North Indian food but has their fair share of other regional foods - a place for both meat eaters and vegetarians to enjoy. (My coworker has a number of allergies and food sensitives, including wheat/corn/nuts/etc, and she has no problem eating here)
The atmosphere warm and inviting. The hostess is a little intimidating. An older woman with a slightly stern expression on her face, but with her regulars lightens up some and jokes openly about who is paying the bill. It's a sight to watch her balance and juggle the busy lunch crowd as they pour through the door (All-You-Can-Eat Indian Buffet for only $9.00). She escorted us to our seats, letting us sit anywhere we wanted within the section (yes, at this point my staff are regulars), we left our coats and headed to the buffet.
I don't remember the first time I had Indian food, but I do remember the first time I had Indian-style prepared GOAT. It was here at Swagat in a rich goat masala. It was not nearly as gamey or stringy as I expected. It was delicate and full of flavor. However, there was no goat to be had this trip. Instead I filled my plate with chicken masala, cabbage pakora, rita, chicken tikka and of course hot fresh naan.
Thank goodness Swagat is only a short drive away and so affordable. Now if only they were on my side of the river so I could enjoy them on the weekends too.