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Several years ago, I was introduced to Indian food while on holiday in Great Britan. I had yet to come across a similarly satisfying experience locally, until I visited the Udipi Cafe' in Sunrise.
Reader be warned, this is a purely vegan restaurant. Being a carnivore, I was skeptical I could enjoy a purely vegan meal. Keep reading to see my final reactions.
The first thing you notice upon entering the cafe' is the location, which is not exactly prime real estate. Tucked away in a strip mall on University Drive and Sunset Strip, it is seated among several commercial businesses. The owner is there to greet you and the seating is ample. For lunch there is a buffet for $8 that is a bargain. All the typical south indian fare is here. A nice touch is they bring you out a personal piping hot dosai, which is a thin crepelike shell with a potato filling, absolutely delicious. The lunch version is about 12 inches. The dinner version is about 2.5 feet long!
By far, my favorite dish is the Chana Masala. This is a dish of chickpeas, in a tomato based curry sauce. I tend to favor this dish and put it over the Basmati rice and add some hot curry powder to it. They have several hot vegetable dishes, such as lentils, spinich, eggplant, okra, and others. The buffet always has something new on it, and it would be difficult to leave hungry. The dinner served is more sublime and a full menu is offered. The portions are generous and the service is very good.
Alhough I would have liked to snack on Tandoori chicken, I did not notice the lack of meat. They have approximately 25 dishes on the lunch buffet and they have meat substitutes such as chick peas and tofu. This is truly a positive experience and those afraid of vegan fare would do well to make this their first experience. The food is excellent, the service is good, and the prices are rasonable. For those who have not tried Indian food, it is a new flavor experience and there is something for everyone here. Udipi Cafe is located at 2100 North University Drive in Sunrise.