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Cheap Eats


Photo: Michael Byrne, License: N/A

Michael Byrne


2018 N. Charles St., (443) 220-0067

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It doesn’t get much plainer than Bismillah’s storefront dining area: white walls, bright lights, institutional seating. But we bet you can guess what’s coming next. Contrast the setting to a bonfire platter of food at this newest and extremely welcome Middle Eastern restaurant/buffet (tilted toward Pakistani, we think): bright red tandoori chicken, rich orange curry full of falling-apart chicken—even the naan and mutton seem particularly alive. We figure this is even after what we’re guessing was a healthy sit in steel buffet trays. That’s how food comes here, and the buffet appears to be the only way: $7.99 for a sit-in buffet, or $5.50 a pound for takeout. You’ll find a whole lot of meat in there of all stripes (save for fish), everything liberally spiced and spicy, at least among those items we sampled, which was nearly everything. Our helping of mutton was a bit heavy on bones, but that’s about the only real complaint, with our two varieties of chicken winning the meal and a chickpea/lentil slurry balancing the mid-level fire of most everything else. Note that for our eight bucks’ worth of food we probably could have served two.

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