Cheap Eats 2016: Woodlands

Photograph by Matthew Worden.

About Woodlands

4078 Jermantown Rd
Fairfax, VA 22030
Extra-Cheap Vegetarian-Friendly No Alcohol

If you’ve never been to this restaurant specializing in southern India’s meatless fare, you have to start with a dosa, a thin, crunchy rice crepe that, in size and appearance, calls to mind a loosely rolled poster. It usually comes filled—say, with a hash of potatoes and onions. Dip a piece into the little cup of coconut chutney. A sublime taste, and the best introduction to what this kitchen is able to accomplish, year after year, without meat or fish. Breads and bread dishes—the tiny steamed rice-flour cakes called idli, for instance— are particular strengths, and you’ll also find rewards among the long list of main courses with vegetables front and center, including a good rendition of baingan bharta, its small, blistered eggplants tossed in a heady mix of onions, tomatoes, and chilies.

Also good: Rava masala dosa, a wheat-and-lentil crepe with potatoes and onions; palak paneer (spinach with cheese); aloo gobi (potatoes with cauliflower).

See what other restaurants made our 2016 Cheap Eats list. This article appears in our May 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.