Cheap Eats 2008: Minerva Indian Cuisine

Why go: A dizzying parade of Indian cooking unspools at these large, banquet-hall-style dining rooms—from smoky tandoori meats from the north to southern dosas, all complexly spiced and served to Bollywood music videos on flat-panel TVs.

What to get: 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, a rice crepe stuffed with curried potatoes; multilayer dosa, a folded version spiced with various chutneys.

Best for: Exploring a multifaceted cuisine that the word “curry” oversimplifies.

Insider tip: While many Indian lunch buffets round up the usual suspects, Minerva offers a wide variety of selections. There’s no better buffet in the region.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

See all Cheap Eats 2008 restaurants 

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.