Because I operate an online platform that promotes great food-based experiences, I am constantly reviewing different social media sites for news and updates on foods, restaurants and recipes. I am especially fond of hearing about what’s happening on the local scene. So with that in mind, you can imagine my delight when I saw this post* on Facebook recently:

FYI: ATTENTION BURLINGTON: I have been to the Taaza Fresh Indian Bistro on Huffman Mill Road in Burlington 5 times now and I LOVE IT!!!  This place has really good authentic and fresh Indian food, and it is so good! I know this location has a bad rap because nothing has ever survived there in the past, but I think this place has a good shot at success!! They have a lunch buffet every day, which is great because you get to try a lot of different items and see which ones you like. Some of the items can be spicy, but I haven’t had anything I couldn’t handle. If you go for dinner, they do menu order, and if you’re unfamiliar with Indian food like I was, you may want to check out the buffet first so you can know which of your favorite items to order. I highly recommend this place and I encourage you to try it. Let’s show our support and help this place succeed!

*Post from Bryan Timothy Coble, resident of Burlington, NC. Used with permission.

I couldn’t help but smile, because I can completely relate to Mr. Coble’s comments. And I, too, would urge you to consider visiting Taaza Bistro, leaving behind your judgments about the location and your misgivings about “spicy Indian food.”

I’d like to highlight four really important thoughts from his post that will – hopefully – encourage you to visit the Bistro for their lunch buffet sometime in the very near future.

Fresh, Authentic Indian Food

Something you may not have thought about before: Indian food is by default a fairly healthy way to eat. Of course, health details vary among recipes and preparation methods, but in general, Indian food uses lot of fresh ingredients, focusing especially on vegetables and herbs. Prep methods often include making sauces and entrees from scratch, so there are fewer preservatives to worry about. On top of that, traditional Indian meals offer a nice range of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and fiber – all the elements of a balanced diet.

They also provide great, health-conscious options that are always full of flavor! Indian dishes use variety of herbs and spices, many of which offer health benefits to your body: turmeric, ginger and chilies to name a few. Just think – turmeric promotes heart health, ginger aids digestion and chilies can make a positive impact on your blood sugar and insulin levels – and all three (plus more) can be used in one dish! And that’s assuming only one benefit per spice; spices generally provide many benefits to overall health!

If you’re worried about your food being too spicy, remember that “spicy” means savory more often than not. You can order your meal with a specified heat range: mild, medium, hot and can’t-feel-your-lips-hot.

Location, Location, Location

Establishments located at 579 Huffman Mill Road have struggled with longevity, for one reason or another. As Mr. Coble states, there have been many different restaurants in the same space, which have tried to impact the market to no avail. And now, there seems a shadow associated with the space, as if nothing good could be or thrive there. It’s like the stereotypical story of the haunted house in the neighborhood.

But I am happy to report that Taaza Bistro does indeed seem to be making a “good shot at success.” The restaurant has occupied the space since February 2012. I’ve noticed that the parking lot is filled with more cars as time passes. And when I visited for lunch recently, the parking lot was packed! I had to park off to the side and walk around to the front.

All very good signs that Taaza Bistro will not suffer the same fate of the restaurants that have come before it.

Adventure Around the Corner

Not many of us will have the opportunity to travel to an exotic destination like India. But if there’s any great way to experience the rich diversity of the culture, it is most certainly through trying its traditional foods! Mr. Coble makes a great point: if you’re unfamiliar with Indian food and nervous about ordering an entire entrée that you may not like the flavor of, you should consider trying the buffet first.

Buffets give you so much freedom when it comes to choosing portions and getting an opportunity to taste everything you see! I can’t express how many times a waiter has walked by with someone else’s entrée, and I’ve wished that I could just take a quick nibble. Just to taste. I didn’t want the whole thing – just a bite. But at a buffet, you can take a bite of everything you see…and it’s totally acceptable!

And let me remind you that this is not the time to be timid; this is the time to adventure forward and challenge yourself to try new foods! Just take a small spoonful, so that you can experience the flavor and texture of the dish. You may not think you’re going to like it, but how will you know unless you actually try it?

(Yes, I just used the well-known parental “Try New Foods” speech. Did it work?)

Support Local Business

It’s great to live in an area that offers a diverse selection of cuisine. We are fortunate to have so many great choices within our own county!

It’s important to remember that our support for local establishments and businesses really does matter. Try Taaza Bistro and if you like it, tell your friends about it, add it to your list of frequently visited restaurants and like their Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Taaza-Bistro/208137445944112).

They really do offer a unique selection on their lunch buffet and dinner menu that provides a healthier alternative when eating out, and you shouldn’t be missing out on all the yummy-goodness because of bogus misconceptions!

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Jen Busfield operates Yummy-Goodness, an online platform that highlights great experiences with food. She recommends that you order a Mango Lassi from Taaza Bistro. She owns jab’s plethora, a small publishing company that offers content consultation, web development and online marketing management: http://www.jabsplethora.com