Is this the end of bottomless butter chicken?

In an essay for The New York Times, Raj Tawney writes about his connection to Indian buffets, wondering if they’ll survive the pandemic. When he was growing up in Commack, New York, going to an Indian buffet was an essential and comforting activity. Many of his favorite restaurants have offered takeout and outdoor seating, but he says none of them have tried to reconfigure the concept of a buffet. Tawney (who’s of Indian, Puerto Rican, and Italian descent) writes that Indian buffets are a gateway into the unknown; the encounters there remind us of our commonalities. “Where else could you, for $10 to $20, step up to a variety of offerings of your choosing?” For his family, these memories and experiences can’t be replaced by delivery, although it may be years before any of us feel comfortable eating at buffets again.

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