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Jan 16, 2011 04:57 AM

quick! Dosa factory in the back of Shalimar - is it good?

My DH works near Central Sq and needs to go in to pull a time point from his experiment today. 3 kids are nagging to go see Daddy's lab...I'm thinking it would go faster for Dad to get his data alone, but then was thinking it might be fun to all head out for lunch after. Been curious about the Dosa Factory for a while, but I'm not finding reviews for this specific location (apparently there is one in Waltham too).

Oh, and my DH's family is South Indian, and dosa were a family weekend breakfast ritual. Is this place worth a visit?

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  1. I really enjoyed my visit there. I'm no dosa connoisseur, but we had a great lunch there. I think i had a masala dosa and one of the chaat dishes. I thought the prices were reasonable and the food was vibrant and flavorful.

    It's not fancy at all - sort of a sub shop kind of environment - not an elegant night out kind of place, but perfect for a lunch with friends and/or the kids

    1. Yes, it's good. But nothing the least bit fancy. Order at the counter, carry your own tray over to a table. If you are up for a no-frills dosa experience, you'll be happy. And there's more than dosas available.

      1. We decided to take a chance and went. Got two masala dosa and a chicken biryani. The food was OK, did not blow us away, but good for a quick fix, and hit the spot well as I was really, really in the mood for a dosa yesterday. By the time we got the kids all served, the dosa was no longer hot (my biggest pet peeve of eating out with kids, I like my food very hot, and high surface area food like dosa cool quickly). But at least the place was playing some Bollywood video that kept my kids entertained while DH and I ate. The dosa definitely did not compete with the dosas we ate before we had kids at places like Masalaa in Billerica or that train station feeling place in Framingham (??). It was a little greasy (my MIL says with proper technique, they should not be greasy) and the filling wasn't bland, but not as flavourful as others I've had. The chutney was OK, but I've had better. I'm not a huge fan of sambhar, so no comment on that. Anyway, it was worth the visit because I was really craving one, but if I didn't have kids and had time to drive to the burbs, that is where I would head for a better one. But I can see myself heading back next time I need a dosa fix in town (unless someone gives me a better rec close by).

        Bollywood Cafe
        135 Massachusetts Ave, Lexington, MA 02420

        3 Replies
        1. re: little.tiger

          Thanks for reporting back...I'd love to hear opinions on the best dosas in the area!

          1. re: Madrid

            I've always liked the masala dosa at Punjabi Dhaba, which they don't always have. The crepe is nice, crispy but chewy, and the filling is well-spiced. It is absolutely not as good as the Dosa Cart in Washington Square, NYC, but still makes me happy.

            Punjabi Dhaba
            225 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02139

            1. re: Madrid

              It has been quite a long time since we ate at these places (probably 4-5 years?), but back when my ILs came to the area more often (to go the temple in Ashland), we would eat at Udupi Bhavan, Masalaa, and a South Indian place in Framingham right near the commuter rail station. I have never been to India, but the place in Framingham near the train station had a really high ceiling with fans over its dining room and made me feel like I was in an Indian train station (yk, the romanticized cleaned up kind you see in merchant Ivory type films LOL). I think this place might have been Udupi Bhavan before they moved to another location...I don't know if that location became another Indian restaurant. Personally, Masalaa stood out in my memory because I loved how tasty, light and greaseless everything was (I find most restaurant Indian food on the greasy side, but I know it doesn't have to be that way from eating MIL's cooking).

              378 Maple Ave, Shrewsbury, MA 01545

          2. As a South Indian (and dosa snob), I haven't experienced any good dosa places in the Boston/Cambridge area, though Dosa Factory would probably be the best of a poor selection. Tantric serves a masala dosa with their lunch buffet that is also only slightly below average. I have heard that Lowell's Udipi Bhavan is pretty good though.


            1 Reply
            1. re: cheezsandwich

              cheezsandwich, because of your ID, I have to tell you that my DH and his sibs grew up eating cheese dosa every weekend growing up. Specifically, processed cheese and it must be washed down with apple juice. I thought DH was pulling my leg (because I've had my MIL's very tasty masala dosa and delicious coconut chutney from scratch, and can't see how american cheese could possibly be preferable) until they were all here visiting and my BIL actually went out to buy processed cheese and apple juice whem MIL made dosa! (We never buy processed cheese, and my kids drink water, no juice).

            2. I really like the masala dosa at JMP in the Super 88/Hong Kong food court in Allston.