Cheap Eats 2009: Minerva Indian Cuisine – Herndon

Great food, low prices, lots of fun

Why go: While these big dining rooms are impersonal, the cooking transports you to a cozy Indian home, where only an experienced hand could produce such excellent tandoor-cooked meats and complex curries.

What to get: Methu vada, deep-fried lentil doughnuts served with vegetable soup; rava (semolina) onion masala dosa, a lentil crepe stuffed with potatoes, peas, and corn; Chicken 65, neon-red bites of chicken tossed with fried curry leaves; lamb vindaloo, sweat-inducing curry with potatoes; lamb korma, creamy, coconut-rich curry perfumed with cardamom.

Best for: Big groups who like to share and who have similar tolerances for heat; a lunchtime feast—the midday buffets are the area’s most expansive.

Insider tip: Order an entrée as a “dinner” and you get two ramekins of soup, naan or rice, two vegetable sides, yogurt sauce, and dessert for only $2 more.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

>> See all 2009 Cheap Eats restaurants here 

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