610 SE 10th Ave., Hillsboro, maharajahillsboro.com. Lunch and dinner daily.
It's no secret that when it comes to Indian food, if you want the real stuff, you drive to Hillsboro. There are viable options near Orenco and Tanasbourne, sure, but if you're headed anywhere near downtown, you want Maharaja. You will grumble about the drive and the disconcerting box of a location (which is just as utilitarian on the inside as it appears on the outside), but one bite of silky butter chicken or tempura-crisp pakora dipped in spicy mint sauce and you'll wish you lived across the street. Between the extensive roster of curries at dinner and a pitch-perfect $9.95 lunch buffet (with heavenly cardamom-scented kheer and gulab jamun for dessert), it's nearly impossible to go wrong here. If the location really bums you out, get a $7.95 lunch box to go from the buffet (we recommend anything chicken) and enjoy one hell of a picnic at one of the several nearby parks.