Review: Udupi Palace!  »

The first time I went to Udupi Palace, we were a group of eight, and our bill for eight dosas, four (or five) appetizers, and six (or seven) beers was something like $120. That is (hang on, I have to work out the math) $15 per person, for that much food! Incredible. I guess their overhead is lower because they are a vegetarian establishment and do not have to pay for things like the bodies of murdered lambs, which tend to cost more than vegetables and grains. Their dosas are enormous, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and the different fillings are delicious. They have a large selection of vegan tidbits, but look carefully for yogurt sauce, it is a wily foe. The plain coconut chutney is scrumptious, though not very adventurous for the spicy-minded among us. You get two other, spicier chutneys for dipping, so worry not.

That first excursion was on a Tuesday night during its first month of business, and by 8 p.m. the place was packed. At that point they had a few kinks to work out with service; that said, they certainly were generous with the water, which is very smart and considerate, especially of weaklings like me who can’t handle even moderately spicy food.

I had the Udupi special spring dosa, which came with the standard Mysore Masala filling plus spring vegetables ($7.95). It was delicious, and way too much for me to finish at one meal. One of my dining companions got the spinach masala dosa, which made me want to order next time, it was so good. The fried idli and sambar vada were really, really tasty as well.

My gentleman friend and I stopped in for an early dinner last Sunday, four months after my first trip (eating in is saving money!), and we split a Mysore Masala dosa and an idli, which was plenty of food to carry us through until bedtime. It’s still delicious, and your water glass never stays empty.

In sum, Udupi Palace’s menu is quite superior to its neighbor Dosa’s, and significantly less expensive as well. It is the best South Indian food I have had in the city, and I will definitely eat there again. And again and again. Nuts to you, Dosa the restaurant, with your overpriced menu and your pushy waitstaff and your pretensions. Udupi serves the dosa of the overprivileged middle-class, and we will have our meal for $3 cheaper, and we will use that $3 to buy an expensive gourmet coffee, which will make us feel guilty for wasting money we could have saved by drinking coffee at home, so when we arrive at our extremely overpriced apartments that we can afford because of our low-level white-collar jobs, we will use our computers to donate money to causes like the Yes on 2 campaign because by god we are overprivileged jerks who appreciate our ability to buy Indian street food at 500 times its price in India, and we show it by giving some of our wardrobe money to charity! DAMN IT!

[photos via yelp]

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