04 October 2007

Udipi Cafe

Southern India is home to a wide variety of vegetarian cuisines. One major region that is noted for tasty vegetarian food is Udipi, the city that gives its name to as style of cooking as well as many restaurants in the United States, including Columbus' Udipi Cafe.

The food from Udipi is prepared in a strict Vedic tradition--vegetarian, but without onions and garlic. There are a great deal of spicy broths like rasam, a spicy tomato and pepper broth, and coconut curries. Many of the dishes are prepared with gourd vegetables, including pumpkins.

I sampled the $6.99 lunch buffet, which runs from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm five days per week. The lentil donuts and the samosas were well made. The rice dish was rather spicy, as was the ajethna, a vegetable dish prepared as a dry curry, and many of the other dishes. They also serve sambhar stew, a South Indian classic. Udipi Cafe makes their food a little hotter than most Indian restaurants, which are afraid of burning my delicate American palate. Some of the dishes on the buffet were spicy enough that you can take the menu at its word when it says, "spicy." My inner masochist thanks Udipi Cafe.

There is takeout available, and during dinner, you may dine in as well. The restaurant is at the corner of Dublin-Granville and Beechcroft in Columbus.

This is a solid vegetarian option. I had a slight preference for the food at Banana Leaf, although the interior of Udipi was probably a touch nicer than it is at Banana Leaf. Check out the pictures below.

Udipi Cafe

Udipi Cafe on Urbanspoon


Unknown said...

karnatik is spelled with a 'k', but thanks for the post anyway. :0)
It's nice to find a real review of a restaurant before trying it.

Cheers, JOHN :0)

deraj1013 said...

No, in English, Carnatic is spelled with a c. The Anglicized Sanskrit spelling is with a K. See this entry on the Carnatic region of India for confirmation.

Carnatic region

And I do love Indian food. This is one of many good spots in the area. Glad you liked it.

Unknown said...

Well, all the Karnatik people I know spell it this way, but hey, you can walk down a street in India and see the same word spelled 3 different ways, so let's not argue the point. :0)

I did go to eat there last night, and the food was good! Some of the dishes were a bit spicy. Actually, for me very spicy, but very nice.

I did have take out, though. I look forward to a buffet, to see what they can come up with in terms of variety.

I'll check back here to find more good places to eat!

Thanks, JOHN :0)

deraj1013 said...

Hey, I'm only familiar with the C spelling. I'm a member of the Columbus Carnatic Music Association, and they spell it with a C. Let's call it a draw and say we both win. ;)

But if you like these places, I also recommend the Bayleaf/Cuisine of India combination in Polaris,Banana Leaf up North, Taj Palace in Hilliard and Indian Oven Downtown. All of them are vegetarian-friendly (Banana Leaf is vegetarian only, and it is biased towards South India rather than North). The other places save for Bayleaf have a Northern Indian bias, and Bayleaf is more of a mixed bag. Any way you slice it, the 614 area code has varied options for Indian food that are worth checking out. I plan on checking a few out on campus soon, so I'm sure I'll have new reviews as well.