Sitar has the best Indian food in town

Of the handful of options for Indian food in the Birmingham-Tuscaloosa area, one choice is far and away the best-- Sitar. With a location on 15th street, the sit-down restaurant is an adventurous eater's best bet for authentic South Asian food.

The menu consists of chicken, lamb, shrimp or vegetables cooked in your choice of sauce with a side of rice. The tikka masala is a tomato-based sauce, while the vindaloo is tangier and includes perfectly cooked crispy potatoes. You also choose the heat level for your entree, between mild, medium and hot. Mild is slightly piquant, medium is significantly spicier. I've never tried hot, but I imagine you'll need a tongue of steel for it.

With any meal, a plate of naan bread is a must-order. The soft, garlic-brushed pita bread tastes amazing dipped in any of the sauces.

The student meal, which costs $11.99, is a huge entree, featuring chicken tikka masala, palak paneer (a dish of spinach and homemade cheese cubes), vegetable korma and naan bread. It's inexpensive for the amount of food you get, and a good sampler of the wide variety of dishes at Sitar. If you're looking for something a little different than the usual fare in Tuscaloosa, this restaurant is perfect.

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