Those in the market for an affordable lunch that transcends the shopworn sandwich/burrito/pizza slice must seek out India Oven. Tucked along South Colorado Boulevard, the restaurant blends Indian and Nepalese cuisines with panache.

What gives India Oven buzz is the impressive buffet. For a mere $8.95 at lunch ($13.95 at dinner), visitors can sample from a selection that typically includes two soups, about a dozen vegetarian entrées, another half dozen or so lamb and chicken dishes, a variety of chutneys, and desserts such as mango custard and rice pudding.

Unlike some spots, India Oven goes light on the oil and concentrates instead on showcasing the central Asian region’s rich and exotic spices. The result is dishes such as chicken makhani (butter chicken), a bold delight in a sauce blended from tomatoes, butter, paprika, onions, and cream. Comfort-food seekers will savor the cozy warmth of the complex North Indian curries. Mop up the overflow with naan, pay your ridiculously small tab, and fight the urge to nap. 2890 S. Colorado Blvd., 303-756-5866,

Our Favorites: All items included in the $8.95 lunch buffet: Chicken Makhani, Lamb Curry, Mulligatawny, Vegetable Biryani, Naan