Tucson, Arizona


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NOT! If you call a place "vegan friendly" where the waitress has not concept of the word "no dairy" and then continues to serve you dairy when you specifically are told it does not have dairy then I guess its vegan friendly. Not a good vegan eating experience.

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I've been here for dinner a few times, and have always been satisfied but not completely impressed.

There is an entire page in the menu devoted to vegetarian dishes, and other pages had vegetarian options as well. The servers seem to have a general knowledge of veganism and the dishes' ingredients. Alas, neither the naan nor the desserts are vegan. Roti can be ordered in place of naan, and it's on par with the roti at other local Indian restaurants. Many of the dishes contain dairy, but they seem to have some flexibility in preparing them without it.

My favorite Indian restaurant in Tucson is still India Oven. But I felt like I got more for my money at Gandhi: the prices were a bit lower, and each meal included appetizers and side dishes (all of which were vegan except for the raita). Instead of having to pay extra for rice, for example, it was included with our meal.

But despite the value, I found the food to be incredibly bland. The chickpeas and potatoes, for example, hardly seemed to have any seasoning at all. A similar dish at India Oven packs a lot more flavor. Ditto with the dal and the veggie samosas. I've also had the fried okra here, which seemed to be on par with India Oven's counterpart.

When you get right down to it, Gandhi is pretty overrated. I don't understand why it consistently gets accolades from the Tucson Weekly and enjoys the level of popularity it does when there are far superior and more flavorful Indian restaurants just a few miles away.

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Vegan Food is really good here but you get cheated out of a harmonic atmosphere, which is really important to me when I am enjoying a meal. The servers are somewhat rude, they throw the dishes at you and once a good friend and I were the only costumers left at the restaurant and they started vacuuming right next to us. That spoiled our delicious food. Such a waste!

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I've only gone to Gandhi for the lunch buffet, which was a favorite of my former co-workers. They have many vegetarian options on the buffet, and I think many vegan ones as well.

However, as with most buffets, vegans will have a difficult time determining what is vegan and what isn't. The staff was always helpful and willing to tell me what was vegetarian *and* dairy-free, but they did so by quickly pointing in the general direction of vegan dishes, so sometimes it could be unclear at first what they meant. So vegans may have to ask for clarification.

I hope everything I ate there was vegan. (I didn't like making a big scene about it in front of my co-workers, for fear of making veganism seem difficut or fussy.) In any case, it was all very, very yummy.

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