4141 Old William Penn Hwy
Monroeville, PA 15146
Pure Vegetarian South Indian Cuisine
This place is in the middle of nowhere, looks a little sketchy on the outside, and a little sketchy on the inside, but OMG is the food amazing. I though Zaiaka’s was good (and I still think it is well above par) but this place-AMAZING!
We went on a Sunday night and there was a line out the door. Now, mind you, the place is pretty small so it doesn’t take more than 50 people to make this place burst at the seams. The inside was pretty dull and boring and the service was nothing to write home about, but again, the food was worth writing to just about anybody about. And all vegetarian? I’m a believer!
The menu is large and full of amazingly tasty looking veggie delights. A friend recommended the Dosa, so we went with that and quite a bit more.
First, we went with the Royal Appetizer Sampler. Fancy, I know. It was huge and delightful!
And here is my only warning to you. The peppers are “praying to sweet baby Jesus make the burning stop” hot. I mean like hot, hot. Now, I love me some hot peppers and can usually hang with the big boys, but I may have lost a taste bud or two after this one. The curious thing about this little pepper, is that after I was done with this one, I ate the other one on the plate. Why, you ask?! I think I was drunk with the heat from pepper #1. But, pepper #2 was not spicy at all. Pepper #1 could have been hotter because I was dipping it in the green sauce that I mistook for a cilantro sauce which was, in reality, a hot peppery sauce. Once can never be sure, but sample with caution.
For our two main course dishes we went with an old favorite, Malai Kofta, and a new favorite, Masala Dosa.
Malai Kofta– Beautifully floral curry with hearty veggie balls. Perfectly cooked rice and a sweet and tangy veggie yogurt on the side. Was just as good reheated for lunch the next day!
Masala Dosa– Perfectly soft crepe with crispy edges good for scooping the chunky potatoes and onions. The dosa was served with sambar and chutney (two spot on accompaniments.)
I have zero, yes zero, criticisms about either dish. I would go back for both in a heartbeat, but I am so excited to try everything on this menu. It is authentic, fresh and flavorful. What more could you ask? Oh, and I forgot to mention that it is stupid cheap. You can thank me for the recommendation after your dinner.
Overall grade for Udipi Cafe: A (but A+ for taste!)