Thursday, August 28, 2008

Texas Lunch, Lock Haven, PA

Vegetarian Restaurant Review by Jennifer Kumar.

Meet and Greet
@ Texas LunchWe came to this location purely by accident. Our GPS mentioned some other restaurant, which lay in a vacant space on the other side of Main Street. So, as we walked to the other end of Main Street, we found the glittery sign and being it the only place we could find open, by default, we walked in. We were surprised it being so nicely decorated inside and looking well established that this location was not logged in our GPS.

This is another seat yourself diner. We did not know that when we walked in and the waitress let us know we could choose our own seats. Within minutes of sitting, we were served coffee and menus.

Mise en Scène
Seems this place is a 50s theme restaurant in décor. Waitresses and staff though are not dressed in 50s garb. Some booths have art work next to them. Next to our booth was a painting called “Game of Chance.” In this paining Jimmy Dean was getting ready to shoot pool. On the other end of the table was Marilyn Monroe while Humphrey Bogart was chalking his cue. While all this was going on, Larry, Curly and Moe were standing in the corner (right side of drawing) laughing or talking. We could not figure out what tied together all these people in the ‘Game of Chance.’ Do you know?

Flowery Parking Meter
I liked the décor inside, with the fire engine red vinyl seats; white table tops with red designs on it, and the black and white checker board floor and neon signs within. We had sat across from the open air kitchen. We could see the cook’s heads and also see our reflection in the wall partition that was covered in a metal decoration that showed us our broken reflections. The setting of the restaurant outside on Main Street is also scenic with mountain and river views. (Photo right: Lock Haven's fancy parking meters. Can't beat the look and price of parking!)

**We did not have to use restrooms, so no comment on that ambiance!

Choosing a Veggie Treat
I guess breakfast treats for vegetarians that eat eggs are the extent of veggie treats offered. I say this though I haven’t studied the lunch or dinner menus, but I say this as Texas Lunch is the ‘home of the growler,” a chili dog- which I think is a hot dog covered with beef chili. Knowing this I had made a fatal mistake in my own ordering. I had decided to try the Greek Eggs which were scrambled eggs with few vegetables and chili. Somehow when I read this, I thought chili meant ‘chili peppers’ and not beef chili. Though I thought it was odd Greek themed eggs would have chili peppers, I did not question this. When our order came, I gave a surprised look and commented to the waitress that it wasn’t what I expected. When I told her I was a vegetarian and thought chili meant ‘chili peppers,’ she immediately took it back without hesitation and asked me what else I wanted. Though my husband offered many times to take it and exchange his vegetable (Spanish) omelet with me, the waitress said, “The Spanish omelet is what you wanted, this is not what she wanted. You choose something else you want.” I opted for the Greek Omelet, which was different- stuffed with feta and olives.

The one thing I noticed about the omelets was the egg whites were visible in the omelet. For us, seeing egg whites is not only tempting but told me they are using real eggs. Often times (especially at Denny’s), I get the feeling some kind of egg batter is used rather than fresh eggs cracked on the grill. The eggs were not only very tasty, slightly browned but the contents of both the Spanish and Greek (feta and olives) omelets were perfectly proportioned. With the Spanish, we had a side of well done breakfast potatoes, while mine was done regular style. There was a difference. The well done ones were indeed well done, browned and crispy on the outside. These potatoes also tasted ‘real’ rather than the processed ones that we get in other locations that are perfectly shaped and deep fried.

The other memorable food item here was actually the drinks- we ordered coffee. Here they actually served coffee with real milk in a metal container. We were in heaven, especially since up to this point coffee had been served along with coffeemate which we abhor.

Checking In
Our waitress was fantastic. She was flexible and friendly. Offering us another dish without hesitation was refreshing, and quite memorable. Our waitress checked on us in regular intervals and made sure our coffee cups were always filled to the brim.

See you later
We got the bill within the time of finishing our meal. We decided to pay with cash. We had thought of leaving the money on the table and leaving. Instead, I decided to pay at the counter. There was a little wait to do so, but that was no problem.

Pay Scale
$6-10 per person
Tips We left 20%. The service was fantastic and the food was good value for the money.
Star System 4/5

I would have to study the menu for vegetarian options for lunch and dinner to adjust the rating. Being known for chili dogs, one may think it’s a typical ‘greasy spoon’ establishment, where all foods are dripping with grease. Not true! This is one aspect of the experience that ups the rating for me!

To find/Contact
Texas Lunch
204 E Main St
Lock Haven, PA 17745
Phone: (570) 748-3522‎

Get Directions: To here - From here


Reviews at Yahoo!

Photos in this post, courtesy Krishna Kumar. More of Krishna's photos of Lock Haven, PA here.

Have you eaten at Texas Lunch? If so, please share your thoughts below.

Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sugar and Spice, Horseheads, NY

Vegetarian Restaurant Review by Jennifer Kumar.

Meet and Greet

We arrived about 11am on a Saturday morning. Walking in, guests are expected to seat themselves. Guests are then greeted by waitresses once they have sat down and made themselves ‘at home’. Though the seats were about 80% occupied, we were able to sit in the corner booth, which was spacious and comfortable.

Mise en Scène

It is like most country diners, with some booth seating and some table seating. I remember the décor to be spacious, light and open. The tables and booth seating were nice and clean.

The one interesting thing I remember of the décor was the paper placemats they have created. On the placemat, each side of the rectangle has a town name on it. I said out loud “Fairport” as that made me think of Fairport, NY (outside Rochester). I was curious why it said Fairport on it. When I asked the waitress, she said Horseheads used to be called Fairport until [they dug up Horsehead skulls in the area] the town near Rochester decided to take it for themselves. Though that is true, I am curious where is the ‘port’ in Horseheads?

**As another interesting side note, there could have been two Fairports in New York. There are two Rochesters in NY. The metro being in Monroe County, the rural one in Ulster County.

Restrooms were clean and spacious.

Choosing a Veggie Treat
We came here for breakfast. There were plenty of breakfast options for us as we eat eggs. We choose the same dish, scrambled eggs, toast and mini potato pancakes. The mini potato pancakes were a little different than expected, but they were tasty, especially dipped in the side of sour cream. The portion size was perfect, it was not too overwhelming. We felt full after eating, not stuffed.

Checking In
Though our waitress checked on us a few times, our coffee was not refilled promptly as compared to other similar diners we have visited.

See you later
Waiting to get and pay for the bill was no issue.

Pay Scale
$6-10 per person
Tips 10-15% depending on your interest
Star System 3/5

(Good value for money, tasty food, but would have expected better service in a small town diner.)

To find/Contact
Sugar & Spice Restaurant
300 Watkins Rd
Horseheads, NY
(607) 739-5303

Reviews at Yahoo!

Have you eaten at Sugar and Spice in Horseheads, NY? If so, please share your thoughts below.

Thank you for reading!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

PF Chang’s, Victor, NY

Vegetarian Restaurant Review by Jennifer Kumar.

Meet and Greet
On our Monday evening visit we were immediately greeted and sat outside on the patio. It was a warm night, perfect for sitting outside and eating. It was neither rainy or windy, but warm and still.

Mise en Scène
We used to be regulars to this Chinese Bistro that to us is unlike any other Chinese eatery because we have yet to spot even one single Chinese working there. We say we used to be regulars as this was one location closest to our home that seemed to have a wide array of tasty vegetarian options outside of Indian restaurants. Then, as we braved out into the wide world of other ethnic foods and American cuisine, this location no longer topped our list. Also, far as we understand from visiting this location for the past three years, there have been only minimal changes to the menu. We do like the Chinese themed décor inside and out. We also like the booth seating inside the bistro as it is wide and very comfortable.
**We did not have to use restrooms, so no comment on that ambiance!

Choosing a Veggie Treat Fried Green Beans
Our favorites on the menu are undoubtedly the appetizers. We always get the vegetarian lettuce wrap (pictured to the right). When this is served, the waiter will usually ask if you like your sauce made mild, medium or spicy. On the table are some bottles of different sauces that the waiter combines to make one tasty, spicy dip according to your preference. We also did notice a new addition to the menu tonight- a green beans appetizer. These were green beans dipped in a breading and deep fried. The sauce served with this was very tasty. The only other place we ever saw this appetizer was TGIFried Green Bean Appitizer Fridays sometime last fall (2007), but it was available for only a limited time. This green beans appetizer was not only new to PF Chang’s since our last visit but does have scope to become a permanent fixture on their menu.

The chosen dish for our main meal was the ‘Buddha’s delight.” With the main dish, diners can choose either brown or white rice. We opted for a little of both. The brown rice here is very tasty.

Checking In
Introducing the PF Chang's Doggie Bag!Our waiter was very attentive and checked on us in regular intervals.

See you later
This has never been an issue for us in this location. The bill and payment collection is done efficiently and without issue.
Pay Scale
$11-15 per person (Two people sharing two appetizers and one main dish with tips.)
Tips 10-15% is sufficient
Star System 3.5/5

Reviewing restaurants from the standpoint of enjoying vegetarian cuisine, I believe PF Chang’s could do a little better with offering more choices for vegetarians. Though there are sufficient choices for most vegetarians as seen in their menu, since choice is so limited this is most likely wPF Chang's Signboardhat encouraged us explore other places for other vegetarian options.

To find/Contact

PF Chang's China Bistro
820 Eastview Mall
Victor, NY 14564
(585) 223-2410
Get directions

Have you eaten at PF Changs in Victor, NY or any PF Changs in US? If so, please share your thoughts below.

tags: "Eastview Mall Rochester" "PF Chang's Rochester" "Eastview Mall"

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Patria, Salamanca, NY

Vegetarian Restaurant Review by Jennifer Kumar.

Fried Ravioli at PatriaMeet and Greet
Soon as we entered on a Monday evening around 7pm, we were quickly greeted and sat at a nice table. The interesting thing I found about the seating process was being sat across from each other in the chairs closer to the wall. It was cozy, in fact. (Photo of Fried Ravioli, left,by Jennifer Kumar.)

Mise en Scène
The place was amazingly nice, and in some senses lavish being in a casino. Just outside the entry to the restaurant (which is on the fourth floor) is a lighting decoration on the ceiling that changes color every few minutes. (Keep tuned into my husband’s photos to see photos of this display.) It is a semi-upscale restaurant, but I don’t believe there is a dress code.

**We did not have to use restrooms, so no comment on that ambiance!

Choosing a Veggie Treat
Being that Patria was touted as an Italian eatery, we rested assured to get some good vegetarian food here. There were at least three appetizers that were vegetarian. We ordered the eggplant/ sundried tomato dip that reminded us of hummus made with Baked Eggplant/Sundried tomato dipsundried tomatoes added. (Photo by Jennifer Kumar.) It was very tasty. The other appetizer was fried ravioli. The ravioli was filled with ricotta cheese. They are dipped in some kind of breading then deep fried. They smell a little like ‘Chinese’ fried food of some kind. They were served with something that looked like pesto. It was not only very tasty, but unique to our palate. There were a few pasta dishes on the menu, but when we tried to order the chicken vegetable medley without chicken, our waitress actually offered to go and ask the chef to make us something vegetarian with a garlic olive oil sauce! We did request to split the dish, and was told by our waitress there would be a dish splitting fee of $6 if done in the kitchen. To avoid this charge, she would bring out the main course and an extra plate, and we’d split it ourselves! We were genuinely impressed, especially being the night before at Hotel Manor and the bad experience with our waitress there. When this dish was presented to us, we were awestruck. The taste was amazing! It had red bell peppers, artichokes, cipollini onions, and capers with an olive oil garlic sauce. Unlike other pasta dishes, it did not feel like an endless black hole of the same old-same old. It was full of variety and taste! This was the first time we both had capers and they give a slightly bitter taste along with a different, much needed slight crunch.

Checking In
Our waitress leaves us speechless! In fact, her service was the most thoughtful and thorough that we have experienced in a long, long time. She was friendly, attentive and creative. I say creative because she only offered to ask the chef to make us a vegetarian plate rather than minus chicken to save us money. I say creative because she asked us more detailed questions about our diet to assure we weren’t vegans (ex. Do you eat pasta with eggs in it?). I say creative as she offered us a separate plate to split our own meal to save us money. Of course all her creativity inspired us to give her a hefty tip.

See you later
Everything went smoothly and timely. Nothing could be better!

Pay Scale
$16-20 per person (We had 2 appetizers and 1 main dish all split between us was more than enough to fill us.)
Tips: We left 15%
Star System 4.5/5

To find/Contact

Seneca Allegheny Casino
Patria Restaurant

777 Seneca Allegany Blvd

, New York14779
(716) 945-3767

Notes: We chose this place as it happened to be the last ‘tourist spot’ on our Pennsylvania Adventure Trip.” Do check the hours on their site before you go as they are generally open in evenings, not for lunch and completely closed for two days during the week.

Have you eaten at Patria? If so, please share your thoughts below.

Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sree Krishna Cafe, Mattancherry, Kochi, Kerala, India

Vegetarian Restaurant Review by Jennifer Kumar.

We visited this place on Palace Road in Mattancherry, Kochi, twice on this visit.

It is only on the second (May 21, 2008) visit I got to keep the bill. Usually they take the bill back for their own records, and customers don’t get a copy. We had to specifically ask for it back.

Vada 4 plates with two each (each plate of two is Rs 5) 40
Bathura 2 plates at Rs. 18 each 36
Plain Dosa 2 orders at Rs. 15 each 30
Red onion chutney (chutney is thick and red in color) 1 at 3
Masala Dosa 1 at 17
Onion Utthapam 1 at 20
Tea each Rs. 4 20
Total 166
(This meal for 5 totals a little over US. $5)

This restaurant is a local place and is quite good according to local standards. There is an A/C and non A/C room. When sitting in A/C room there is a premium price, but not sure what that is.

Tourists visiting Mattancherry, Fort Kochi, or Jew Town in Kochi (Cochin), Kerala, India can frequent this shop. I believe they get many tourists as it is on the main (Palace Road) road, so they staff there should be able to converse in English. I always go with my family who speak Malayalam and I have not interacted with staff in English.

Overall I rate this restaurant high in terms of service and cleanliness for Indian local hotels. I am also used to it as we have frequented it quite often during our visits. There are two A/C rooms, one has a wash room and the other does not. I believe the non A/C washroom seemed to be cleaner when we were there, but neither had soap. The fact that there are washrooms without soap is still an enigma to me. Many local eateries we went to on this trip did not have soap in the washrooms. It’s a good idea to carry your own or some handiwipes or antibacterial soap. The tables and cutlery is quite clean, but ask for napkins if you want to wipe wet spoons off. They serve local, bottled and boiled water. I usually have had the boiled water which is still quite warm when it is served. Payments are done only in cash.

Photo by Krishna Kumar, used with permission.

Have you eaten at Sree Krishna Cafe in Mattancherry? If so, please share your thoughts below.

Thank you for reading.

Lehigh Restaurant, Henrietta, Rochester, NY

Vegetarian Restaurant Review by Jennifer Kumar.

We broke our no-egg-on-Saturday rule today by eating breakfast at Lehigh Restaurant. Actually, we had to take our car for servicing on that side of town and wanted to check out that area of town as we rarely go there. Instead of Tim Horton's (what kind of real breakfast is available there, anyhow?:), we tried this place for the first time.

We were impressed by the breakfast menu. For vegetarians who eat eggs there are a lot of choices.

One of my favorite breakfast items is biscuit with country gravy, which in some places is made exclusively with flour and water gravy. Though some places call it sausage gravy, some places don't add the sausage in the gravy while making it. But this is exception, I guess. Lehigh makes it with the sausage in the gravy, so then I opted for another choice.

I enjoyed the Greek omelet - eggs with tomato and feta. It was very nice as some places overload the feta and since feta is salty it can be overwhelming if it is made this way. But the feta was just right. Though I think they make 4 egg omelet as it was huge. I had home fries, well done and rye toast with coffee.

Hubby had the Spanish omelet. He thought they would dice veggies and mix in the egg batter. But, they cut the veggies in large slices (red and green peppers, onions and tomatoes) and fold them in the middle of the fried egg. Not the best choice for him. He doesn't much like vegetables made like this and ended up eating the egg, and leaving the veggies. He also had this with home fries, rye toast and coffee.

The experience here was pleasant and we do plan on going again. They had a nice bakery section with lots of sweet pies and baked items that I hope to try in the future. Since it is a little distance from home, it may happen only if we go to Marketplace mall do some other shopping in that area. The waitstaff was pleasant and catered to our needs.

Within $15 a nice filling breakfast that will hold us over through lunch also :)!! Thank you!

Lehigh Restaurant on City Newspaper, Rochester.

To find/Contact:

4835 W Henrietta Rd
Henrietta, NY

(585) 334-2520
Directions to Lehigh Restaurant

Have you eaten at Lehigh Restaurant? If so, please share your thoughts below.

Thank you for reading!

Club Mahindra, Munnar, Kerala, India

Vegetarian Restaurant Review by Jennifer Kumar.

On our journey to the world's highest tea plantation on Kolukkumala in Kerala (Kerala/ Tamil Nadu Border) in India, we stopped for lunch at Club Mahindra.

Coming up to the building, it seems like an oasis in the dessert, or tea plantation as it were. The resort is made up of a series of buildings, of which the main building is where we entered for the restaurant. The photo in this post, taken by Jennifer Kumar, is the fountain at the entry of the hotel.

We entered near the end of the buffet at 2pm. That being the case, the buffet was fully stocked with a variety of North Indian and South Indian lunch items and savories. The staff did warn us a few minutes before they were to clear the main dishes out. The sweet dishes were left back for a bit longer. Here I remember eating a litchi mousse desert which was very tasty. Overall the buffet was very nice and the variety was good. The surroundings was clean and the waitstaff were responsive to us.

Of course, this being a top notch resort (though not rated in the 4 star system as noted to me by our tour driver) the price was very high compared to any other local establishment. For two buffets and two Madras coffees, we paid Rs 901 (about $22 US). It was a price comparable to Indian buffets where we live in New York State, but with much more variety than any [Indian] buffet we have been in the U.S.

I recommend you eat here if you don't want to think twice about hygiene, variety, responsive staff and a great ambiance and don't mind paying ten times more than you would in any other place! (As a reference in Kochi we paid Rs. 166 for a meal for 5 at Sree Krishna Cafe!)

Visit their Munnar Website.

Have you eaten at Club Mahindra near Munnar or in any location in India? If so, please share your thoughts below.

Thank you for reading!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bellini's, Victor, NY

Vegetarian Restaurant Review by Jennifer Kumar.

Meet and Greet

Upon entering on a Sunday evening at 7:30, we were instantly greeted and sat down. The parking lot and the dining room were quite empty, so seating was not a problem.

Mise en Scène
The interior is divided into smaller areas by which from one area you may not see people in other areas. Where we were sat was in a booth, next to the booth was a window on one side you could see to the other side of the dining room. The window was slightly frosted to provide some privacy. The window and wall surrounding extended ceiling to floor, providing a sound barrier as well. Since there were not many other guests in the area we dined in, can’t comment much on the guest profile. It is a semi-upscale eatery, so dressing in nice pant and shirt or dress is sufficient. I went in nice pants and t-shirt which was a little dressed down.

**We did not have to use restrooms, so no comment on that ambiance!

Choosing a Veggie Treat
We visited this location maybe two years ago, just after it became Bellini’s (previously, Houlihan’s). At that time we remember it was difficult or close to impossible to choose a vegetarian main dish, though we do remember having amazing appetizers back then. Today, we faced a similar quandary. Don’t remember what we got two years ago, but seemed there were less options for appetizers today than at that time. There were two options, an eggplant dish and bruschetta. We opted for bruschetta, which I call the ‘Italian chutney’ or ‘Italian salsa’. This was very tasty. When it was time to have our main dish, the waitress explained that any dish could be made to order as things are freshly prepared. This stood true possibly for the pasta dishes, but of course, not the soup selections, neither of which were vegetarian. Regarding the pasta dishes, I think one was fully vegetarian, all others had meat, but it could be left off. The dishes were a bit pricy though if you take the meat out. We had not asked if there is a reduced price once meat is removed as we opted for the margherita pizza and the prodotto salad. The salad was very good. It had a little of each of the five tastes and different textures- greens, crisp pear slices, carmelized walnuts, red onions, blue cheese, dried berries and dressing. Though this salad was tasty, it doesn’t beat the one I had in Albany maybe 5 years ago somewhere on or near Wolf Road. That salad had all five tastes, with sweet being juicy, red strawberries. The dressing on Bellini’s salad was also very heavy- too much was poured on. I, though am not like a lot of people I know who like a lot of dressing (They would ask ‘Can I have some salad to go with that dressing? And not “Can I have some dressing to go with that salad?”).

Both dishes were worth trying (once) and trying to bring home the leftovers.

Menus LunchDinnerIntermezzoBar Bites

Checking In
Waitress checked on us in regular intervals and was very attentive and friendly.

See you later

Bill was given and payment taken in a timely fashion.

Pay Scale
$21-25 per person (including tip)
Tips- 10% or a little more is sufficient
Star System 2/5

For lack of good pure vegetarian options at an Italian eatery*

To find/Contact

10 Square Drive
Victor, New York 14564
Map / Directions

*Pure vegetarian in this case doesn’t mean eggless or dairy free, but simply a lack of menu options without meat already included in the descriptions.

Have you eaten at Bellini's? If so, please share your thoughts below.

Thank you for reading!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Denny's, Rochester, NY

Vegetarian Restaurant Review by Jennifer Kumar.

Meet and Greet
We were immediately greeted and sat down on a Saturday night past 11pm.

Mise en Scène
This Denny’s is filled with teenagers, college students and other young people who either have permission by their parents to be at Denny’s (rather than roaming the streets) or are here in anticipation of the bar/club scene later in the night. Due to this, it’s a slightly rowdy crowd. Also due to this the waiter on staff has a lot of fun entertaining the young girls who come in scantly dressed, flirting with him.

**We did not have to use restrooms, so no comment on that ambiance!

Choosing a Veggie Treat
We came in expecting to get a breakfast item. We actually were coming here after a long day of biking (photos of biking at Hamlin Beach Park) and other activity. Also upon entering we saw some special they had – limited time appetisers, one being potachos. This was something new to us, a hybrid dish of thick potato chips with nacho toppings (without meat). We also had ordered a make your own slam with three items at 5.99.

The potachos were amazing. As this location is infamous in my mind for the amazing amounts of oil used, both the potachos and breakfast items and their cooresponding empty plates were glazed with dripping oil. Not a place to eat if you want to eat healthy, though it was full of taste! Though we liked the potachos a lot, they also seemed to be overpriced at 7.59. They should have had a vegetarian option on the menu with a lower price.

Checking In
Because our waiter was too busy flirting with all the pretty and scantly dressed girls in the room, our service could have been bettter. It was not bad though. Hope he made some good tips, or maybe a lot of nice slaps!

See you later

Because our waiter was preoccupied getting the bill and payment could have been faster.

Pay Scale
$11-15 per person – Keep in mind this is only for one appetiser and one breakfast slam with coffees. I feel it’s a bit pricey. But no place else is really open at this time of night, so we were locked in to Denny’s.
Tips 10% was sufficient (I wonder how much the girls he flirted with gave as tips!)
Star System 2/5
I don’t mind visiting other Denny’s but this one is just too oily and we don’t seem to fit the profile of customers who get speedy or personal service at this hour.

To find/Contact
911 Jefferson Rd

, NY 14623

(585) 424-3670
Get directions

Have you eaten at Denny's Restaurant in Rochester, NY or any other location? If so, please share your thoughts below.

Thank you for reading!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Mysore Woodlands, Rochester, NY

Restaurant Review by Jennifer Kumar.

Meet and Greet
We were excited to eat at the first South Indian restaurant in Rochester on a Monday evening. We were immediately greeted by the host, sat down and served water. We were served appetizers within 10-15 minutes followed soon by main courses.

Mise en Scène
This location recently was bought out and renamed. Just previous to these owners, it was called India Palace, which served north Indian food. The place had been ‘shut down for renovation,’ but we did not notice much improvement to the décor. Décor can be much improved as besides the one beautiful picture of Lord Krishna near the greeter’s station, there are laminated photos of menu items. Quite honestly the photos displayed neither serve a purpose of being a [good] marketing tool nor interesting, ethnic décor.

**We did not have to use restrooms, so no comment on that ambiance!

Choosing a Veggie Treat
Mysore Woodlands bases their menu items on a region of India called Udipi in the state of Karnataka (the state in which Bangalore city is located). Udipi is known for Brahmanical pure vegetarian cooking. It’s interesting though that the menu has a wealth of non-vegetarian items on it, which we conveniently ignored.

Among the tempting vegetarian options, we ordered the sambar vada and aloo bonda for appetizers and the Mysore Masala dosa and bisi bele bath for main courses.

Sambar vada was very tasty. The accompanying coconut chutney was nothing to write home about. The vadas were nice and very large. In fact the two vadas soaked in this dish of sambar were bigger than the ones we had at Palace of Dosas and also a meal in themselves. The sambar that accompanied the sambar vada was tasty, with a thick consistency. I make a Mysore sambar for Pongal celebrations. My feeling is the specialty of Mysore Sambar is the fact that the dhal is boiled separately then rather than just placed in the sambar, it is blended into a paste along with other spices before putting into the sambar broth. This gives the sambar an overall thick consistency. I had hardly any room for the other food after eating this. The aloo bonda was ok, but then again aloo bonda is a North Indian treat and not so typical of Udipi or South Indian cuisine. The Mysore Masala dosa is a lentil crepe filled with mildly spicy potato filling. The dosa itself is also coated with a layer of masala (spice) – which is a mix of spiced ground and mixed in oil and lightly spread on the inside of the dosa. This was very tasty. The bisi bele bath was not on the menu. What was on the menu was bangala bath. I am still not sure what that is. When asking the waiter what it was, I asked if it was like bisi bele bath, which is a rice dish with veggies and spices. He said not really and offered me the bisi bele bath. I have to say I haven’t had bisi bele bath since I left Chennai in 2001 and it was so tasty and amazing. It had a spicy tasty but not hot spicy but a blend of wonderful tastes. The dish was accompanied by lemon ginger pickle. Unlike the lemon pickle I make at home, this one was made with oil as there were mustard seeds in it. However, the lemon ginger pickle had an amazing flavor as again though it did have some chili taste it was not too spicy and complemented the bisi bele bath very nicely.

Checking In
We were waited on in regular intervals by either waiter on staff. Service was courteous and prompt.

See you later
Bill was given in reasonable time and collected back quite timely. When paying the bill, they had packed my left over bisi bele bath. When I looked in the bag later, I noticed they packed the pickle in a separate container which was impressive. Even more impressive was the fact that they had given extra pickle than what was in the original helping. Thanks! (Incidentally, I had taken the leftovers for work the next day, eating the bisi bele bath with the pickle and potato chips, it was very tasty. In fact, it made me wonder why the bisi bele bath is not served with papad – Indian chips.)

Pay Scale
$11-15 per person (one vegetarian appetizer and main course per person)
Tips 10-15%
Star System 4

For an Indian restaurant it was good and quick service. Also liked the fact they gave me something not listed on the menu. Food is value for money as it was very filling and in comparison to other South Indian restaurants, somewhat cheaper.

To find/Contact
Mysore Woodlands
Located in Tops-Brighton Plaza
(Near back left corner where mall makes a turn)

1900 Clinton Ave South
Rochester NY 14618
Phone: unsure
Get Directions

Notes: If you want to come to Rochester to visit the Hindu temple and then go for some great South Indian food, here are the directions from the Temple to Mysore Woodlands!

View Larger Map

**As of the posting date, the old sign (India Palace) still hangs above the entry way with a Mysore Woodlands banner in the window. Not sure when the sign will change.

Related Links: My recipe for Mysore Sambar My recipe for vada Pongal Celebrations- What is Pongal and how I celebrated it in a remote Tamil village Palace of Dosas, Buffalo, NY

Mysore Woodlands Review in Democrat and Chronicle (nice review, explains South Indian delicacies from an American viewpoint)

tags:4 stars, rochester-ny, indian, south-indian, economical, restaurant review,