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Jan 7, 2014 06:59 AM


We've been going to the Sunday lunch buffet since they opened and have always loved it. We haven't been in about six months. It's starting to get bad reviews on Yelp. It almost sounds like they're starting to get away from the authentic food they were making and starting to make normal indian buffet dishes like butter chicken, chicken tikka masala etc. to appease the masses. That's definitely not what we go there looking for. We liked going there because they didn't serve typical Indian buffet food. Has anyone been there recently? Did the buffet turn into just another run of the mill Indian buffet?

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  1. That's a shame. I recently saw (on FB) a friend saying they didn't enjoy the buffet either but that it had been better before. I typically dislike buffets, but I had enjoyed the one at Karaikudi the one time I had it specifically because it was not typical faux Mughlai/Punjabi buffet fare, though that was when the place first opened. The friend who said she didn't like Karaikudi's buffet got comments saying that off-the-menu is still good.

    1. Just saw this recent post on donrockwell:

      Came tonight, as I was headed to Dulles.

      Lots of changes. New management/ownership coming in. Chef is staying.

      Not going to get into details of meal, but the quality has changed considerably. The chef has been under pressure to tone down the food and spice level. I ordered the Chicken Chettinad, which I absolutely adored last time. Asked for it spicy (didn't last time and it came out fiery). It was much milder. I flagged down the server and asked him. He told me that the chef was told by the owners/managers that he was making it too spicy (people were complaining), so now, even if you ask for it spicy it won't come out spicy. He related a story about a (white; not sure why that was important) woman who said she could take it spicy and wanted it cooked that way. They brought it out she had two bites and ran to the bathroom. She caused a scene and it was pretty awful for them. So, now, no more spicy food. The biryani was still good, but they were out of goat, so stuck with chicken. They were out of many things, it was a limited menu (because of the changes, that's what he said).

      I'm very disappointed. I loved this place.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Bob W

        This is what's known as "torta ahogada syndrome." Area foodie demands the super-plus-most-authenticist food and when it melts their faces off and renders the restroom an EPA Superfund site, they complain to their lawyer.

        1. re: monkeyrotica

          Just looked up torta ahogada. Great reference!

          1. re: Bob W

            The one at La Mexicana Bakery & Tacqueria was pretty awesome, but they dropped it from the menu. I'm inclined to think because of the reasons cited above, which is a shame because it was one of the best sandwiches I've ever had.

            1. re: monkeyrotica

              Now I want one! I'm going to send a note to Picante! in Chantilly. They have some very interesting regional dishes so I'll see if they might be willing to offer this as a special.

              1. re: Bob W

                I've seen it on a couple of tacqueria menus, some better than others. Like a lot of sandwiches, it comes down to the bread. La Mexicana bakes their own bolillo so it's fresh and crusty and holds up to dunking, So yeah, if they can pull it off, more power to them. All I can say is, don't blame them if your face catches fire.

                1. re: Bob W

                  I am going to start a thread to ask you what you rec at Picante!

        2. It looks like Karaikudi is now closed and a new restaurant is coming in. Anybody know anything about the new place - I think the name is Bawarchi.

          2 Replies
          1. re: MarietteB

            Bawarchi translates to "the chef" and is the name of an Indian film, and also the name of several Indian restaurants scattered here and there. I don't think it's a chain but it's hard to tell from what comes up in Google.


            1. re: MikeR

              Karaikudi is a Tamil name.

              Bawarchi is from Urdu/Hindi (etymologically Persian with a Turkic -chi suffix, to be precise). So I am presuming the resto has gone from having a unique (for Northern VA) Tamil-Chettinad menu to having a generic N. Indian faux Mughlai/Punjabi menu. Totally un-unique name (nothing to do with the film at all) and there are gazillions of Bawarchi restaurants around the world.

              I had heard that Karaikudi had gone downhill in the past months. I guess the business wasn't going well despite being busy due to financial issues, or that the owners may be those sort of people who open restaurants to get them off of the ground, and then sell them to new owners for a profit. Or something else. Who knows?