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“Bring on the cliches (off-the-beaten-path, hole-in-the-wall)--but pretty decent Indian food”
Review of Taste of India

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Taste of India
Ranked #6 of 18 Restaurants in Livingston
Restaurant details
Reviewed 22 May 2018

I was shocked to read that there was an Indian restaurant in this food-forsaken stretch of Alabama, but as fast-food averse lovers/ frequent consumers of Indian food, we had to try it.

Though just off the Interstate, this place proved elusive. We had heck of a time finding it, tucked as it is into the side of a not-very-busy truck stop (L & B Travel Plaza). My phone's directions had us turning around and heading back to the Interstate when I spotted in the distance a barely discernible sign on the side of the building. As we drove up, we assumed the place was closed as there were no cars in the lot. (I felt like I'd been dropped into an Alabama version of "Bagdad Cafe.") My husband went into the darkened restaurant to investigate and soon signaled me to come in. The space is cavernous, making it appear sparsely furnished with dining tables (though there were plenty, none occupied when we arrived); a Punjabi news show blared from a large TV screen hanging from the ceiling.

Ok, so the place is weird. But the food was good.The smallish buffet table featured maybe half the choices you might get in a typical Indian lunch buffet, seemed more like the spread an Indian grandmother might put out for her family. We had goat curry, butter chicken, a couple of veg curries, dal, rice, chopped salad, fresh naan. And it all tasted "homemade," in the best way. As we paid our tab (typical buffet prices), another diner, an apparent regular, walked in. A car with a few men in military garb drove up as we were leaving. So maybe the place does have a following.

We had a good look at the regular menu, which featured all the familiar Indian restaurant offerings as well as some that sounded more intriguing. In the unlikely event we ever find ourselves in the wilds of Livingston at dinnertime, we'd certainly try Taste of India. And we'll seek it out next time we're in the area at lunchtime.

Off-putting aspects of the ambience notwithstanding, Taste of India offers pretty good food, especially in these parts.

Date of visit: April 2018
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Thank NOmadfolk2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 - 6 of 6 reviews

Reviewed 27 March 2018 via mobile

Authentic and outstanding Indian food great service great food great price it’s the real deal very easy to access from intestate and don’t let the location fool you it’s a awesome restaurant

Date of visit: March 2018
Thank Stclair1958
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2018

I eat at Indian Restaurants about twice a month minimum, and in many varied places since I travel a lot. I consider myself an expert critic of them because of this. This place showed up on Google and when I got to the exit, Google Maps had me turn away from the truck stop (and away from the restaurant). This was probably due to a poor signal. At first it indicated a place a few hundred yards North of I-20, and then when I past that it at first looked as if I should go to the next town on a secondary road. I was puzzling over this and then realized that it was simply sending me a long ways away just to turn around and arrive back at an empty field. I tried calling and the person that answered couldn't understand me. I was trying to ask if they were located by or close to the highway but they apparently thought that I wanted to know how much the buffet was. After a minute they just hung up on me. When I called back they were unable to understand me. So, I go to the truck stop and there it was: Taste of India. Now, I'm about upset over being hung up on and them not being able to understand English. Since English is taught in schools in India this is puzzling?? So, I go to the buffet and it doesn't look like a buffet, more like a family reunion type deal the way the dishes and stuff was on the table. The food was on a regular buffet table but the food was not lighted. It was dark, too dark, and I was not sure what was what in the darkness. But really, all I care about is good Indian food and I was ready to overlook the phone hang-up, the disarray and poor lighting, provided that the food was good.
It was not. The chicken Tikka Masala was way too tomato-ey and not like most of the other India restaurants. Now, restaurants very from one to another on how they make this dish and I am familiar with all of its variants. Most styles are great except for the kind that tastes like spaghetti sauce!! The spinach, something like Sag Paneer without the Paneer or cheese, was way too salty. So salty that I was worried that it would make me sick. It seemed to have no spice other than lots and lots of sauce. The lentils were actually pretty good and was spiced appropriately and it was the only thing worth eating. The chai tea was actually much better than expected. Except I didn't ask for Chai tea, I asked for Sweet Tea. When you are in Alabama and ask for sweet tea, you are not expecting Chai, that I can tell you! The red kidney beans were not much more than plain canned kidney beans and it didn't seem like an Indian was doing the cooking in the back??
It is very rare to eat at a bad Indian Restaurant and there was at least one Indian there because I saw him. I am not sure why the food was not prepared the way an Indian Restaurant would prepare it. The Indian that was present couldn't speak English and I had difficulty even finding out how much my bill was. It was really awkward and I couldn't get out of there fast enough.
It cost me $12.90 and I should have spent $7 at McDonalds or a fast food place instead of this misadventure. What makes me so mad is that when traveling I have just enough time to make one quick spot and I wasted my chance to have indian food that day!
While I was sitting there eating whatever it was that was passed off as Indian Food, I puzzled over the many google reviews. They must be fake, as no one is going to say that the food there is good, much less even poor Indian food.
I think the townsfolk should get some torches and some pitchforks, and rush the place and tear down the "Taste of India" sign. It's just wrong to misrepresent something and it's basically fraudulent.
I like to work hard and play hard and I do like my meals. Life is too short to be cheated like this. So, if you are reading this and considering going to Taste of India to eat, I will say that you are a fool if you still go after reading this. You have been warned.

Date of visit: February 2018
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Thank Amethyst-King
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2017 via mobile

Just had some fantastic goat saag, possibly the best saag I’ve ever had. Wish they’d had the buffet to try more things. Don’t let the truck stop locale put you off.

Date of visit: December 2017
Thank leslyej2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2017

You can get in through the convenience store but I think there is a dedicated entrance as well. We stopped for lunch, when there was a buffet. Went because of the good Yelp reviews, good food and it's fun to be eat Indian in a gas station in Alabama.

Date of visit: August 2017
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Thank alliswell252
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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