First Bite: Mysore Palace, Indian Vegetarian Cuisine

Full Size Render(1)Mysore Palace — a reincarnation of longtime favorite Woodlands Vegetarian Indian Cuisine —opened at the beginning of this month in Franklin. The new location has drawn the displeasure of many fans who preferred the more central location of the Woodlands location on West End in Nashville. But that location was plagued with the problems of little or no parking, difficulty of access during heavy traffic times, and most notably, the extended renovation of the building that housed it. Regardless, when I visited late last week, the new restaurant was busy with eager customers ready to dig in to the buffet.

The buffet is set up in a single line for most items as opposed to the two-sided buffet of the previous restaurant. But a second section holds popular condiments, accompaniments and desserts. I was happy to see several favorites, including the paneer tikka masala and coconut curry as well as a dish from the “Indo-Chinese” section of the menu (gobi Manchurian). But I was happiest to see that just like Woodlands, a small masala dosa was served with the buffet option.

I filled up my first plate with rice and curries, ate my dosa, and followed up with a plate of paneer tikka masala with idly (steamed lentil and rice cakes) made masala-style (with curry, potatoes, peas and onions mixed in). I also had a hearty serving of the mango and lemon sweet-and-sour pickle. For dessert, I got my favorite, the gulab jamun (small fried dumplings that are a bit like doughnut holes swimming in honey with an essence of rosewater) as well as a rice pudding with dumplings, pistachio and rosewater. Everything was as fantastic as I’d expected.

The lunch buffet is $11.95 per person and served every day except Monday, when the restaurant is closed. Buffet offerings change every day, but always include two types of rice, two types of soup, several curries, bread and desserts. Dinner starts at 5 p.m. and is served from the menu, which is similar but not exactly the same as Woodlands. The menu available online suggests a more limited selection of Indo-Chinese items, bread (I don’t see puri on the menu), and appetizers (the paneer pakora — which is fried cheese — didn’t appear to make it to the new menu, which is disappointing).

The new restaurant is also bit smaller than the previous one with regard to seating, so if it gets as busy as its predecessor, you should plan accordingly. On the upside, it has ample parking and is easily accessible from I-65. Since it’s on the east side of the interstate, you don’t have to deal with mall traffic.

Incidentally, the restaurant takes its name from a famous palace in the city of Mysore in Karnataka (Southern India). It is pronounced just as it looks, but with an emphasis on the second syllable.

Mysore Palace
9040 Carothers Parkway
Lunch 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Dinner: 5-9 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday

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