Meena's Kitchen--South Indian vegetarian restaurant in Nashua
- whs Aug 26, 2009 05:41 AM
Just saw this in the Feast section of the Telegraph--it's on West Pearl. Anybody tried it yet?
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.