Best Middle-Eastern: Sitar

Best Middle-Eastern Runners Up: Ali Baba Time-Out Deli, Holy Land Market, King Tut’s

Sitar, Bearden’s long-lived Indian restaurant, has more competition than it used to (though, sadly, not enough to create a Best Indian category), but it’s still a Knoxville favorite. Luminously tasty food in an unpretentious setting—we recall it was once a Captain D’s—is hard to beat. And without it, we would get so few opportunities to say “Shrimp Vindaloo,” “Aloo Gobhi,” and “Kofta Lajwab.” The only drawback is the abundance of tough choices; we’ve been known to finish a glass of Flying Horse before coming to a final conclusion on appetizers. You might opt for one of the combination plates, like the Tandoori Mixed Grill. You have a choice of amplitude. If you order it “Indian Hot,” be sure you know what you’re doing.

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