We're considering going here for dinner. It's a bit of a drive for us and we're wondering if it's worth the 40 min. or so trip. What's your favorite dishes here?
do you mean Udipi Dosa House? I didnt like my dosas there. They have chat night on Wednesdays... that might be worth it
the Udipi Cafe is in Monroeville. It is mostly Southern Indian with some Northern Indian dishes. It is vegetarian and non-smoking. The Northern dishes are okay but specialize in the Dosas and other Southern foods, some pretty spicy. The prices are reasonable and the food fresh as they are busy due to proximity to temple. Unless they've seriously gone down-hill over the past year I think you'll find it an interesting experience. You may want to try it for Saturday lunch!
If you haven't already been to Udipi yet, I'd highly recommend it! I make the 20 minute drive every week myself. The best time to go is either for a mid week dinner or weekend lunch. I think they are closed on Tuesdays.
The “Udipi dinner” is an all-inclusive menu item that gives you a sampling of popular south Indian dishes. If you like spicier foods, you could opt for the rasam, as opposed to the tomato soup. Next you have a choice of two idlis (steamed rice dumplings), two vadas (fried lentil donuts), or one of each (which I’d recommend so that you get a taste of both). There are a lot of choices for dosa - my favorite is the rava (with or without the potato masala), but the plain (masala) dosa is also a standard. Both the idli/vada and dosa come with sambar and coconut chutney. The last choice is between (chai) tea and south Indian coffee, which will come at the end of the meal, unless you specify otherwise.
The dhahi vada is a yogurt based appetizer with cilantro, tamarind, and spices. After three trips to India, I have yet to taste a better rendition.
There are two other dishes I would also recommend – one is channa bhatura - channa is a chickpea curry and the bhatura is fried bread. Although this is a north Indian dish, they make a wonderful south indian version. Lastly you could try a South Indian thali. You would get a small sampling of a number of curries (5 or so) plus rice, yogurt, bread, and coffee or tea.
Most Indian restaurants in the U.S. are north Indian. Udipi is unique since it is not only south Indian, but quite authentic. I have eaten at Indian restaurants across the country, and Udipi is definitely one of the best.
oh yeah, they are byob if you want to drink. or you could try the mango lassi.