Minerva Indian Cuisine - Chantilly
14513-B Lee Jackson Memorial Highway
Chantilly, VA 20151
Cuisines: Vegetarian/Vegan, Indian
Open Monday through Thursday 11:30 to 10, Friday thought Sunday noon to 10:30.
Price Range: Inexpensive
Reservations: Not Needed
Paneer pakora, fried fritters of paneer cheese in a lightly spiced lentil coating; sambar, a tangy Tamil tamarind soup that accompanies dosas and other southern dishes; lakhnavi methi kheema, ground lamb in a sauce laced with fenugreek leaves; masala dosa
Special Features: Kid Friendly
Why go: These big pan-Indian restaurants have as much charm as a shipping container, but the Southern dosas and piquant Northern curries are soulful and spicy.
What to get: Channa chaat, a spicy chickpea stew, and chicken kebab from the lunch buffet; rava (semolina) or masala (lentil) dosas holding spiced potatoes; lamb korma, a cardamom-spiked coconut curry; paneer pakora, soft cheese fried in a lentil wrapper.
Best for: A cheap lunch—unlike most Indian all-you-can-eat buffets, the versions here ($7.95 to $9.95) are replenished regularly with flavorful curries and tandoori meats.
Insider tip: Happy hour, every day from 5 to 9, features beer and glasses of wine for as little as $1.49 and bottles of wine for $9.99.
>> See all 2010 Cheap Eats restaurants here