This past weekend, my friend and I decided to eat our way through Patel Plaza, an Indian mall in Decatur, starting with lunch at Masala Indian Cuisine followed by snacks and drinks at Gokul Sweets and Royal Sweets Atlanta. The mall features multiple Indian restaurants, businesses, clothing stores and a grocery store. Just a ten minute drive from Emory University’s Atlanta campus, Patel Plaza makes for a perfect weekend adventure with plenty of different options to choose from and lots of places to eat. 

Masala Indian Cuisine

The interior of Masala Indian Cuisine features mood lighting, chandeliers, and an elaborate carpet complimenting maroon-colored walls. (Sasha Lessin-Burris/contributing writer)

Masala Indian offers both buffet style and menu options for food. (Sasha Lessin-Burris/contributing writer)

We started off with lunch at Masala Indian Cuisine, which offers both a buffet and regular menu option. When I first walked in, I feared that the price was going to break my college student bank account with the mood lighting, fancy carpet and wine colored napkins folded into every cup. To my surprise, the meal was actually quite reasonable, and it was a very good bang for your buck, with almost overwhelming amounts of food (and plenty of leftovers). For appetizers, the restaurant provided complimentary crisps in tube and wheel shapes along with two different kinds of sauces. My friend and I both enjoyed these very much and loved the satisfying crunchy texture paired with both the refreshing green and the tangy red sauce.

For appetizers, Masala Indian Cuisine provides complimentary crisps and dips. (Sasha Lessin-Burris/contributing writer)

For main dishes, we split the butter chicken and butter naan, which we enjoyed. Even between two people, we ended up with plenty of leftovers. The naan was soft and chewy, and it paired well with the sauce and chicken. The butter chicken had a nice texture with well portioned chunks and a good ratio of sauce to meat. The dish had plenty of flavor with spice that left us both sweating, and a thick chunky sauce that was perfect to dip the naan. The staff was very attentive, checking in on us multiple times throughout our meal. Overall, Masala Indian Cuisine has a great menu selection and atmosphere, making it the perfect place for Indian comfort food.

At Masala Indian Cuisine, we ordered butter chicken and butter naan. The chicken also came with rice (not shown). (Sasha Lessin-Burris/contributing writer)

Gokul Sweets

We then wandered down to Gokul Sweets, which sold a variety of Indian sweets and drinks. Featuring a large countertop and signs advertising different sweets all over the walls, the place was bustling with customers. 

Gokul Sweets features a wide countertop with an array of Indian sweets and drinks.(Sasha Lessin-Burris/contributing writer)

After surveying the options, we both ultimately went with the mango Kulfi, an Indian dessert similar to ice cream with cardamom and saffron. Gokul Sweets served many kinds of kulfi, including pistachio and saffron, which were all served on sticks, making it easy to hold and eat. The kulfi was one of the highlights of my day with its thick creamy texture paired with the tangy sweetness of the mango.

Gokul Sweets offers Kulfi, an ice cream-like treat. (Sasha Lessin-Burris/contributing writer) 

Royal Sweets Atlanta

Royal Sweets Atlanta features a food truck inside the restaurant. (Sasha Lessin-Burris/contributing writer)

We ended our day at Royal Sweets Atlanta, where I bought a mango lassi and my friend bought a rose lassi. The place had a relaxing ambiance with a mural of Indian streets and food trucks on one side and an impressively-large, real-life food truck on the other. The wooden tables and benches were a comfortable refuge from the weekend rain, and the lassi made for a perfect refreshment. The rose lassi was much sweeter than the mango, and I ultimately decided that I preferred it to the mango. The texture of the lassi was a good in-between thick and liquidy, and the drinks came out quickly. Both glasses were very large, so we took the rest back with us to campus. 

Royal Sweets Atlanta offers different flavors of lassi including mango and rose. (Sasha Lessin-Burris/contributing writer)

I had a great time going to Patel Plaza and sampling just a few of its many options for food and drink. Whether you’re looking for somewhere close to campus to get out of the Emory bubble, or in the mood for an adventure, Patel Plaza has plenty to explore.

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