Punjabi Kitchen

. August 29, 2014.
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THE SHORT COURSE

Kid-friendly Yes

To avoid wait Consider off peak hours
Noise level Fine

Bathroom amenities Changing tables in the men’s and women’s restrooms

High Chairs Yes

Got Milk No, but lemonade available

Kid’s menu? No, but spiciness can be adjusted on most menu items

Food allergy concerns?

Punjabi Kitchen suggests asking before ordering since many of the dishes contain multiple ingredients

My 12-year-old shares my appetite for adventure – literally.

I first noticed it when we were together in China. As a baby with no teeth, I figured she would be happy with yogurt, rice cereal and other mushy things. I had ordered a tomato and cheese sandwich. She eyed that sandwich and reached for it, so I gave her a tiny piece. And another, and another. Pretty soon it wasn’t my sandwich anymore.

In the years since we have been two peas in a culinary pod. We both eat tomatoes like apples, and we never met a vegetable we didn’t like. She will give anything a try, and spices don’t bother her. I can’t say the same for the rest of the family. So it was only natural that she would be my sole dining companion at Punjabi Kitchen, an Indian restaurant located near Menards.

Sometimes, as parents, we get locked into a vicious cycle of only going to restaurants that offer chicken strips, fries and a drink. You won’t find that at Punjabi Kitchen – in fact, there is no children’s menu at all. Don’t let that dissuade you from exposing your children to one of Findlay’s finest ethnic restaurants.

We walked in expecting to order off the menu, but the choices were daunting. Most entrees were in the $8-$10 range. A dozen chicken dishes done a dozen different – yet intriguing – ways. Lamb and seafood were also included. There was a full page of tempting vegetarian options. We threw ourselves at the mercy of our waiter, who suggested the lunchtime buffet ($8.99, with half off for children ages 5 through 10).

The buffet, with slight daily changes, offers a nice selection of what, to us, was unfamiliar cuisine and most of it was meatless. The aloo gazar mata, a spicy vegetable blend featuring potatoes and carrots, had enough of a kick to make me sweat. The chana masala, a chickpea blend, was nice when scooped up by bread pakada, a type of fried bread. My daughter ate nearly everything, including the butter chicken, and we both went back for seconds. The buffet also included a small dessert section, and my daughter said the kheer, an Indian rice pudding, was her favorite.

Some of the items on the buffet had some heat, but we Spice Girls enjoyed it. Worried about too much kick? Try ordering off the menu instead. Most menu items can be adjusted for mild, medium and spicy preferences.

So far we have been to Punjabi Kitchen twice for the lunch buffet, and look forward to our future lunch dates. After all, a full menu – that includes chicken vindaloo, matar paneer and lamb passanda – awaits our intrepid tastebuds.

15085 Flag City Drive Findlay, OH 45840

419-424-9700

Hours: 11am to 2:30pm Tuesday through Saturday for both the lunch buffet and menu ordering, and 5 to 10pm Monday through Saturday for dinner. Closed Sunday.