Cheap Eats 2008: Saravana Palace
Comments () | Published June 1, 2008
Saravana Palace
Address: 11725 Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: 703-218-4182
Neighborhood: Fairfax
Cuisines: Vegetarian/Vegan, Indian
Opening Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 to 3. Open for dinner Monday through Friday 5 to 10. Open for lunch and dinner Saturday 11:30 to 10, Sunday 11:30 to 9:30.
Nearby Metro Stops: Vienna/Fairfax-GMU
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Intimate
Reservations: Not Needed
Best Dishes Idli; channa batura; medhu vada; potato bonda; poori bhaji; Jaipuri paneer dosa; coconut rice; gutti vankaya; carrot halwa; papri chat; crepe topped with ginger and chilies; chili-and-onion-topped uttapam; lemon rice.
Price Details: Appetizers, $3 to $7.50; entrees, $5 to $12.

Why go: After some ups and downs, this all-vegetarian southern-Indian dining room has found its groove again with lovely breads and terrific rice dishes.

What to get: Idli, steamed rice cakes paired with stewed-vegetable sambar and chutneys; papri chat, a tangy salad of potatoes and chickpeas drizzled with tamarind and yogurt; regular or paper-style dosas, India’s version of crepes, filled with masala-style potatoes and onions and served with green-chili-stoked coconut chutney; a gram-flour crepe topped with ginger and chilies; chili-and-onion-topped uttapam, a pancakelike bread made from rice and lentils; wonderfully fragrant coconut rice; tart lemon rice.

Best for: A quick buffet lunch (watch for waiters coming around with fresh dosas); a leisurely vegetarian feast.

Insider tip: Dals, vegetable stews, and curries have lacked oomph lately.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 06/01/2008 RSS | Print | Permalink | Restaurant Reviews