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Dec 14, 2009 09:44 AM

Minerva Indian Cuisine - Rockville/Gaithersburg

Unless I saw the Washingtonian "Cheap Eats" review on this place, I would have passed by it a thousand times without thinking to stop and try it out. Have to admit, it's about the best Indian food Ive had in the area (even better than Bombay Bistro in downtown Rockville). We tried a variety of dishes (Chicken Tikka Masala, Butter Chicken, Tandoori Shrimp, and Chicken 65). The chicken dishes were outstanding, as were the sides, rice and nan that accompanied them. The Shrimp were good, but nothing to write home about. The vegetable Samosa's were also great. My only complaints was that the dining room has a feel similar to a NY diner and the waiter was a bit stand-offish (perhaps a cultural thing). It looks as though they have an extensive lunch buffet, which, based on the dinner sampling, would be worth a try.

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  1. Is that the one on the corner of Shady Grove and 355? I only went once for their lunch buffet which was huge. I thought it was on par with Indian Palace, but a little more expensive.

    3 Replies
    1. re: reiflame

      That's the one. Where's Indian Palace?

      1. re: ciaoda

        Further south down 355, tucked in the shopping center with the Magruders. It can be tricky to find.

      2. re: reiflame

        Minerva in Gaithersburg is the worst - the management is uncaring has an attitude of "take it as it is or leave" - A group of 7 of us went to dinner on New Year's Eve - we placed our orders and double checked them with the waiter to ensure he had it right. It took a half hour for the waiter to return and tell us that the Sheesh Kabab was not available and the diner had to choose another entree. So he did. And then the meals came one at a time, until all but one had been served. We asked if the remaining diner's Chicken Curry was arriving imminently and were told it was - so the rest of us began to sample our dinners - before we knew it, we were almost finished and the 7th dinner had not arrived. We checked with the wait staff a couple of times and were told it was almost ready. At last it arrived - I asked to talk to the manager and he took a while to get to the table, and when he did, he was sullen and said he had just received the Chicken Curry order 10 minutes prior. When we told him his waiter had confirmed the order twice, he said it was a busy night (although the restaurant was not overly busy) with a lot of take-out activity and there was only so much he could do. When I asked to talk to the owner, he said it was a family owned business and that he was one of them!!

        As a manager, he should have asked what he could do to make things alright - he was sullen, had an attitude of "take it or leave" and he was very defiant and defensive. Although it will not matter to him, he has lost our business. We patronized this place pretty frequently, but no more - we shall be spreading the word as well - Patrons need to vote with their feet and take their business elsewhere when management is not accountable. He lied and said he had just received the order 10 minutes prior to it being served - Shame on Minerva's management.

      3. They have two places in NOVA also and I've taken years of mention to mean they are generally regarded as one of the more solid, consistent and good Indian places in the area - a measure to use for other places. Not the best by any means, but quality enough to use as a guidepost.

        1. I usually go to the minerva in fairfax, reston or chantilly. on some of the buffets, they have an indo-chinese dishes which I really like. Minerva is a solid place for lunch or dinner.

          1. It's probably the best overall joint in the 20877 area. It has incredible little sides that come with entrees and a great variety on the whole. The dosas are superb. I've never had a bad meal. Spice Xing is the only other place that can hold a candle to Minerva within striking distance. Bombay Bistro is really good but a little pricey for what you get.