Dosa Corner has mastered vegetarian fare from southern India.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
When you crave hamburgers and French fries in a disposable wrapper, go to Wendy’s.
When your hunger needs vegetables and breads delivered on throwaway plates, go to Dosa Corner.
More blue-collar than, say, another stellar vegetarian Indian restaurant in Ohio’s capital – Udipi Cafe – Dosa Corner caters to eaters with little need to converse over dinner and much desire to ingest tasty carbohydrates.
Business traveler and frequent customer Ananth Sunparan, who had been razzing a friend via cell phone while finishing the mini-smorgasbord before him, offered a ringing endorsement.
“I live in Los Angeles,” he said. “Last week I took food from here all the way back to L.A. It is authentic south Indian food. Very good.”
Hari Narahari – who manages and owns the eight-table, 28-chair setup – creates (with the aid of a small staff) some of the most delicious southern Indian fare in central Ohio.
(That’s a short “a” in Hari, by the way: “I lived in Canada for a long time,” he said. “French people cannot pronounce ‘HAR-ee,’ so I became Harry.”)
Although Hari’s menu is deep with cheap and delicious entrees and breads, the dosa – a large rice-and-lentil crepe – is the star of his vegetarian show.
There’s something about taking on a food item the size of a cheerleader megaphone that makes a dining experience more of an event than, say, a supper of a baked potato, a can of tuna and some bagged peas.
Still, if a 14-inch horn of vegetables isn’t your speed, you have alternatives.
During a recent visit, with heavy carryout traffic entering and exiting for a solid hour, my party of two divvied up the South Indian Tali ($9.95) and Dosa Tali combos ($9.25).
On the table near a self-serve plastic pitcher of tap water: avail (a creamy mixture of carrot and eggplant); uthappam (a doughy lentil pancake); refreshing lemon rice with toasted chickpeas, peanuts, black mustard seeds and lentils; Mysore pak (a fudge like nugget so sweet your teeth will recoil at the sight of it); Medu Wada (lentil doughnuts); poori (unleavened whole-wheat flat bread deep-fried in vegetable oil); various chutneys; and gulab jamoon, a ghee-fried sugar bomb.
The one missing facet: no cold beer to put out the curry fires in our mouths.
Some diners doubled up on mango lassis (yogurt shakes), a fine way to stifle the burn. With Indian fare, though, I crave beer that scratches the throat.
Oh, great granters of liquor licenses: Please give Dosa Corner the right to sell Kingfisher beer, the crisp pilsner in the green bottle ubiquitous in all fine Indian restaurants and – as the label reads – “most thrilling chilled.” firstname.lastname@example.org