With more than half a dozen Indian restaurants and specialty food markets, the cluster of strip malls near the intersection of Chatham Street and Maynard Road in Cary already had a solid claim as the hub of Indian cuisine in the Triangle. The recent addition of two new restaurants to the list strengthens that claim.
At Biryani Maxx (590-102 E. Chatham St.; 919-377-0346; biryanimaxx.com), the specialty is Hyderabadi biryani, a spice-fragrant dish of layered rice and meat named for a city in south-central India famous for its regional cuisine. Biryani Maxx offers several variations on the theme, from traditional goat to chicken to vegetable. The rest of the menu roams all over the subcontinent from Kerala fish curry to Kashmiri style lamb rogan josh to Indo-Chinese shrimp fried rice. Biryani Maxx is open every day but Tuesday, serving lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Barely a block away, Sri Meneekshi Bhavan (740 E. Chatham St.; 919-463-9130; srimb.com) focuses on Southern Indian vegetarian fare. The extensive menu is divided into sections devoted to vegetarian curries, rice dishes, breads (paratha and puri with a variety of fillings and accompaniments), Indo-Chinese specialties, and a dozen variations on dosa, the oversize rice-and-lentil crepe that is Southern India’s most famous dish. Another section is dedicated to popular snacks known as chaat. Sri Meneekshi Bhavan is open for lunch and dinner daily. A lunch buffet is $7.99 on weekdays, $9.99 on weekends for an expanded selection.