Posted by: lisetta | March 13, 2008

Udipi Cafe

OK, so it *could* be an Italian restaurant if you think of the word final /i/ as a plural suffix … or not. 

I simply cannot resist bending my own ‘rules’ for this blog. I mean, I’ve been blathering on about Italian food here for 9 months now, so I figure I can indulge my enthusiasm just this once about another type of food I really love: Indian vegetarian. Look at it: what’s not to adore?


Imagine the table is a clock. At twelve o’clock, the dosai, a large crepe-like pancake, folds over a savory potato onion filling.  In the center is palak paneer, spiced spinach with cubes of yogurt cheese . At 6 is aloo muttar, potatoes and peas. At 8 is the vegetable uthappam, my all-time favorite, served with sambar and coconut chutney. Sigh. 

Located near the Sri Venkateswara Temple in Monroeville, PA (east of Pittsburgh), the unpretentious Udipi Cafe is an outstanding choice for vegetarian fare. Granted I claim no particular expertise in Indian food, but the flavors here are sublime. No heavy cream sauces to weigh down the dish. No heavy oil. No pasty overspicing.

Can anyone out there tell me why Philly doesn’t have an Indian restaurant that compares?! I’ve never even seen uthappam on a menu here! 


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