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Feb 21, 2010 04:54 PM

Udupi Bhavan in Middletown, CT

Even though I visit our county seat several dozen times a year, it took a tip from Kattyeyes to alert me to Udupi Bhavan, a vegetarian Indian restaurant hidden in the Tradewind Plaza 2.5 miles south of town on Main St. (aka Saybrook Rd). An unpretentious decor nevertheless is quite popular with the local Indian population who were well represented at their tables the Sunday evening I stopped in for takeout.

Samosa Chat, a mashed samosa with curried chickpeas, was the favorite of my choices, but Pongal, a rice/lentil dish with Raita and curry sauces was close behind. I am not a huge fan of eggplant, like my DW, but Baigan Bartha, an eggplant dish with tomatoes, onions and mild spices, also hit the spot. Rava Masala Dosa, a humongous crepe with an oniony potato filling was just "sosa" to my taste, but some children at an adjoining table were enthusiastically polishing theirs off. I also found at the bottom of the bag a dish I don't think I ordered. It made a nice soup (but it may have been another sauce for the Pongal. These four items seemed authentic to me and were plenty for dinner for two with enough left over for two more lunches, and I didn't miss a meat dish at all.

If you are a relative tyro at Indian cuisine like myself, it is a good idea to look up the menu at
so you have some idea of what to order as you approach the counter. They are closed on Monday, but have an all-you-can-eat buffet lunch on weekends which might be an excellent way to get acquainted with their many specialties.

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  1. The 'soup' is sambar & comes with the Dosa (along with the chutney) The buffet at $9.95 is a great deal. Udupi Bhavan is the real deal as to what you find in Udupi Cuisine. It's Southern Indian and not what most people expect when they are used to Northern Indian Cuisine. (And it's Vegetarian! ) There are also fantastic Udupi restaurants in Shrewsbury & Lowell Mass. It is a cuisine that everyone should try at least once. (Finnish the meal with carrot halwa & you'll be back for more.

    1. Happened by again and couldn't resist stopping to get some takeout for future lunches. The Chana Masala Curry with chickpeas was only mildly spicy and while it tasted good, did not have the variety of ingredients I'm used to in Thai curries. Bisi Bele Bhath, a lentil sauce with various fresh vegetables served over rice with raita was pretty good, but also on the mild side.