The Indian Palace (1720 Poplar Ave., 901/278-1199, daily, $7–17) is a regular winner in reader’s choice polls for Indian food in Memphis. The lunch-time buffet is filling and economical, and the dinner menu features vegetarian, chicken, and seafood dishes. The dinner platters are generous and tasty. Lunch is served Monday–Friday 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and Saturday–Sunday 11 a.m.–3 p.m., and dinner is available nightly 5–10 p.m.
Pho Hoa Binh (1615 Madison, 901/276-0006, Mon.–Sat. 11 a.m.–9 p.m., $4–9) is one of the most popular Vietnamese restaurants in town. You can’t beat the value of the lunch buffet, or you can order from the dizzying array of Chinese and Vietnamese dishes, including spring rolls, vermicelli noodle bowls, rice, and meat dishes. There are a lot of vegetarian options here.
The atmosphere at Bhan Thai (1324 Peabody Ave., 901/272-1538, $10–19) in midtown is almost as appealing as the excellent Thai food served there. Set in an elegant 1912 home, Bhan Thai makes the most of the house’s space, and seating is spread throughout several colorful rooms and on the back patio. Choose from dishes like red snapper, masaman curry, and roasted duck curry. The Bhan Thai salad is popular, with creamy peanut dressing and crisp vegetables. Dinner here is served Tuesday–Sunday beginning at 5 p.m., and lunch Tuesday–Friday 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
It’s the regulars who are happy at the Happy Mexican Restaurant and Cantina (385 S. 2nd St., 901/529-9991, Sun.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–11 p.m., $7–15). Serving generous portions of homemade Mexican food for lunch and dinner, Happy Mexican is destined to become a downtown favorite. The service is efficient and friendly, and the decor is cheerful but not over the top. It’s located just a few blocks south of the National Civil Rights Museum.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Tennessee, 5th Edition