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Meena's Kitchen--South Indian vegetarian restaurant in Nashua

Just saw this in the Feast section of the Telegraph--it's on West Pearl. Anybody tried it yet?

http://meenaskitchen.com/index.htm

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  1. Wow! I am surprised to hear that there is a South Indian Vegetarian restaurant in NH! Since I now live in SF I have not tried the restaurant, but from looking at the menu she looks like she knows her stuff. I would think that you would have some issues finding some South Indian ingredients though ie: Curry leaves, Drumstick leaves and vegetable or Kappa, That said you still could produce some authentic food if that is your goal.

    4 Replies
    1. re: chefj

      There is a big Indian population in southern NH and northwestern Boston 'burbs so there are markets selling the ingredients. In Nashua there are two or three such places.

      1. re: whs

        Great! I will be back for visit in Oct. I try to check one of them out. Any suggestions?

    2. Hmm, I'll have to check that out. I'm bringing my mom back to the Manchester airport last week, guess I'll be making a detour to Nashua.

      1. I been twice and I love it. The food was fresh, tasted like we had been invited to their home to share a home cooked meal. Considered never cooking again and taking all my meals there.

        2 Replies
        1. re: freshveggie

          We went Meena's kitchen Sunday for dinner and loved it. A different menu approach is offered here.... and it is their primary mode of service. Perhaps this is traditional in South India? After it was explained to me I was fully on-board as it sounded like a no-stress way to try different things.

          It is what they call their "buffet," which is not a get up and walk to a buffet table situation like many Indian restaurants have... this is a pre-selected 6 course dinner starting with soup, and ending with dessert. I ended up having items I had never tasted before and didn't know existed, and it was all quite good. Its as if you had been invited to someone's house for lunch or dinner and this is what you are served. I loved the adventure of it, and not having to struggle with menu items you aren't familiar with. Just let the food come!

          The "buffet" dinner was $12.99, and is "all you can eat" in that if you want more of something, just ask! My favorite item (wish I knew the name) was cubes of paneer cheese, the BEST I've ever had, in a spicy tomato sauce. I was a way too full for 2nds of anything, but this dish would have been the one if I had room. All were home-made and fresh tasting. Some items were spicy, which is great for me but my girlfriend had to back off from eating much of one of them as she is very heat averse.

          They do have other items you can order a la carte, but there are few descriptions and they aren't standard fare I recognized, so the "buffet" was the way to go. I am absolutely going back. Note they do not serve alcohol, and based on a conversation at a nearby table BYOB is not permitted due to lack of some permit? I didn't ask if they have plans for a liquor license or BYOB, but it would be nice to bring a bottle of wine. Regardless, great food and a unique multi-course menu option to take the work out of deciding what to order.

          Go to their web site (see 1st post) and it shows what today's specials are. I don't know what a single one of them is, but with the "buffet" you can easily try them out. You can also download the menu and see the "On demand" list for the la carte - again, I don't know what any of these dishes are so the buffet works perfectly for me!

          1. re: Dave B

            Went here for lunch on Friday - absolutely delicious! I really hope this place sticks around as I am planning to eat there often!

        2. This place is the real deal. We ordered idly, vadai, dosai and utthapham, which are standards available at any south Indian restaurant, so we could compare. These were beautifully prepared, but the thing that makes Meena's special is the quality of the condiments--the sambhar, coconut chutney, and a wonderful ginger chutney were fantastic. It is like home cooking, Indian style. Next time, we'll have to try the buffet--there are so many unique items unavailable anywhere else! We talked to Meena and her husband on the way out, lovely people. They are from Hyderabad, and are introducing a whole new cuisine to the area. We were one of two tables having lunch today--hope you'll give it a try!

          1. Meena's now has beer and wine. Standouts from the six course dinner last night were the red pepper lentil soup, and corn vada--deep fried corn fritters with ginger and cilantro. A bargain for $12, as you can have seconds (or thirds) of any course you like.

            1. Saw this thread yesterday morning and decided that we would need to make the drive from Concord for dosas - and we're so happy that we did! Dave B says it all in his excellent post above, so I'll just confirm everything he says... the food was excellent and the people there are the friendliest!

              We splurged and started with pani puri and the cut mirchi before the 6 course - so full that we were barely able to make the walk across the street to our car! Standouts from menu were the cut mirchi and the sweet/sour bitter gourd, but everything was very very good.

              They did just start selling beer and wine though the selection isn't stellar (bud/coors/kingfisher, yellowtail/etc) but hey, with $2.50 mango lassi who can complain?

              Thanks chowhounders, you never lead us astray!

              1 Reply
              1. re: wongadon

                So glad you tried it--for me, this is one of the most interesting restaurants in New Hampshire right now.

              2. We went for dinner a few months back, and were ever so slightly dissappointed. It seemed at that time that they were really more geared to lunch than toward dinner. I would have liked a thali, but they don't offer that. And the only set dinner included a dosa, which wasn't what I happened to want. There was very little flexibility or variety in the offerings. Overall we left thinking that Uddupi Pavan in Lowell was still more to our liking.

                Has anybody been there for dinner recently, is it still an all or nothing set menu? Any thoughts comparing it to Udduphi in Lowell?

                1 Reply
                1. re: qianning

                  You can order a la carte, you are not locked into the set dinner. Udupi Bhavan offers Tamil cuisine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamil_cu... which is slightly different than the food of Andra Pradesh: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andhra_c.... I like Meena's because it feels like you are eating in someone's home, but Udupi is very good too--it is very much like a veg restaurant in Chennai.

                2. Maybe this weekend, this place sounds fantastic - I can't wait. I love that feeling like you are in someones home too - are there seperate tables or are you kind of sitting with others too? Love that too, although don't find that too often.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: lexpatti

                    lexpatti, definitely save up a good appetite before going. With other comments I see I'm not that only one that was very full. Tables are individual - typical restaurant scenario there except for the wonderful foods and buffet option.

                    Also, ask them about the slogan on their sign and menu. Interesting.

                    I am looking forward to my next visit.

                  2. Went here today after my dentist appointment and as usual had the kind of secret six course menu for lunch. The menu is on the table but no price anywhere, not in the menu or the website but it's $9.99 at lunch time. The menu is also updated daily on their website. Best dish today was probably the Chitrannam (Basmati rice with lemon and stuff) a really really tasty dish. It's really an all you can eat menu but I couldn't even finish the bread let alone seconds! Pictures is off the appetizers and then the mains and dessert. I think this is a really good deal, excellent food, beautiful furniture, linen napkins.

                    http://thedailylunch-woburn.blogspot....