Food

Cheap Eats 2010: Minerva Indian Cuisine — Herndon

100 places that offer great food at low prices.

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

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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.