So often, the “all-you-can-eat” option sounds appealing but ends up costing more than a regular meal or more than one could possibly feel good about consuming. One either leaves the restaurant in absolute agony, or eats a normal amount for a greater cost of the regular meal option. In many cases, all-you-can-eat also screams, “This food has been sitting around all day long, and you might feel sick if you eat it.”
However, there are a few establishments that have organized this option where customers are truly benefiting. Everest Nepal Restaurant is one of them. On Monday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., a fresh, warm, and eclectic buffet awaits customers for the price of just $11.99.
For an all-you-can-eat opportunity, customers are offered a price lower than most dishes on the menu but of the same quality. Those who have already had the pleasure of dining at Everest Nepal will confirm the difficulty in choosing just one dish from the extreme variety offered on the menu. However, when owner Renu Shreshta lists the restaurant’s specialty dishes, several sit among the buffet selection.
From warm soups, salads, samosas, and three different kinds of rice, to chicken tikka masala, daahl, and pad thai, the lunch options are expansive, with plenty of vegetarian options included. There is even a variety of fruit and yogurt-based desserts if one still has room for the next course.
The chicken tikka masala was warm and creamy, with tender meat, and just enough spice to notice. The saag was rich and fresh, providing a nice element of green to the meal. Urja Risal ’20, who is originally from Nepal, said, “I like their buffets the most because it reminds me of authentic Nepali food. They add ginger along with the spices in their chai just like we make chai at home.”
The buffet offers more than quantity and efficiency, however, as it also allows space and time to expand one’s taste buds and explore different kinds of flavor and texture. If time and testing are not of relevance to one’s dining experience, the regular menu is always an option, all day from Monday through Saturday. Alongside curry, noodle, and rice dishes, the menu also offers momos, which are traditional Nepalese dumplings filled with either vegetables, pork, chicken, or lamb and come with a special tomato-based sauce. The menu also has non-Nepalese options such as Pad Thai and various salads.
Renu and Jiban Shreshta, the owners of Everest Nepal, moved together from their home in eastern Nepal in 1994 to come live and work in Colorado. They both started out working in the restaurant industry in Boulder before moving to Colorado Springs to establish a business of their own. They first opened a shop called Everest Tibet Imports, where they sell imported jewelry, clothing, trinkets, and incense from Tibet, India, and Nepal.
Renu talked about one day noticing a sale sign on the property just across the street, and making the decision with his wife to start their restaurant business. This was 17 years ago. While Renu manages the floor in the restaurant, his wife Jiban is responsible for cooking all the delicious food in the kitchen. Some customers have complained of slower service in the past, but with the authentic Nepalese cuisine that Jiban prepares, the wait is well worth the taste. “She has the recipes,” Renu said. He talked about the way in which, over time, it has become easier to source the spices needed to create authentic Nepalese taste, mentioning to the Asian Pacific Market that exists close by.
The main wall of the restaurant is decorated by windows that fill the space with natural sunlight, flooding through the colorful prayer flags that hang from above. Posters of the Dalai Lama, paintings and pictures depicting Himalayan landscapes, and other decorations from the region allow for a comfortable environment. Red booths and tablecloths complement the orange walls and add to the homey feel of the restaurant space.
The dining experience at Everest Nepal Restaurant isn’t just all you can eat, it’s also all you can see, taste, choose, and imagine.