Who: VN Senior Editor Elizabeth Castoria + VN Editorial Assistant Lisa Mickleborough
What: A dinner of dosa
Where: Udupi Palace, San Francisco, Calif.
When: August 9, 2008
Why: Do you really need much of a reason to eat great veg Indian food?
The Scoop: Here's a little insight about how things work here at VegNews: we talk almost constantly about food. Any time of day, any type of food, so long as we're either imagining some ultra-awesome menu or recalling some of our most-favorite meals, we're happy. Since our editorial director, Aurelia, has spent a significant amount of time traveling in India, we can always count on her to regale us with tales of dosa, idly, and other South Indian favorites. Having heard about the utter wonder that is dosa since day one, I've been dying to try it. Enter Udupi Palace.
The San Francisco location of this authentic chain opened in June, and Lisa—also a newbie to the world of dosa—and I finally had time to go. With expectations high, we set out for the Mission District on a bustling Saturday night. Udupi Palace's interior is warm and inviting, and the place was abuzz with diners who all had huge plates of food in front of them. Once seated, it took us maybe all of 10 seconds to select the masala dosa and savory tomato uthappam from the menu. Our orders came on two silver trays, complete with a selection of coconut chutney and sambar. Incredibly, everything lived up to our expectations. The dosa was crispy and light, and the potatoes inside were like someone had taken the best mashed potatoes ever and jazzed them up with Indian spices. We died.
After completely stuffing ourselves (did I mention that the servings were huge?), Lisa got a cup of coffee to help everything digest. She was so taken with the chicory-blend flavor that she asked the manager where she could buy it, and he graciously gave her a bag to take home. As if the generosity of the servings weren't enough, the coffee was certainly an unexpected bonus. From here on out you'll be able to find Lisa and me at our weekly meetings that begin, "Hi, my name is Elizabeth and I'm a dosa addict."