Cheap Eats 2009: Rangoli

Great food, low prices, lots of fun

Why go: The cooking at this suburban oasis—lush curries, delicate dosas—is nearly as transportive as the dining room, with its Indian textiles and occasional soothing sounds of a musician.

What to get: Masala dosa, a thin rolled crepe filled with spiced potatoes; Malabar fish curry, chunks of tilapia in a coconut-curry gravy; chicken chettinad, its sauce ignited by peppercorns and dried red chilies; rich creamed spinach known as palak paneer; aloo gobhi, a fiery mix of potatoes and cauliflower.

Best for: Feeling pampered—friendly waiters and waitresses spoon your dinner onto beautiful white china.

Insider tip: There’s a well-tended lunch buffet. Rangoli now delivers free within a five-mile radius.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

>> See all 2009 Cheap Eats restaurants here 

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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.