/dev/null (i_am_electro) wrote in eatingcleveland,

Udupi Cafe - Parma Heights, OH - 6339 Olde York Rd.

I've meant to visit the Udupi Cafe for quite some time, but wasn't up for the drive to the uncharted lands of Parma On the Heights. My interest was particularly piqued earlier this year when the PD reviewer, John Long, declared that although it is a strictly vegetarian restaurant, the meat will not be missed. John, looks to be a fellow who likes a lot of meat, so I took this to heart.

The place is easy to miss, I did the first time-- you need to find the intersection of Old York and Ridge Road and enter the humble shopping center housing a Goodwill store. Upon entering the restaurant on a Friday night, they were doing what looked like a good business, and it took a minute for someone to realize we were there, but that wasn't a problem. As I learned, you don't go here for knock-your-socks-off service, you come here for some interesting good food at a very fair price.

This isn't like your normal area Indian restaurant for two reasons: no meat and not your usual cuisine. India is a big place. Like China, another big place with many regional styles, India offers a lot of variety. I'm really not deeply familiar with the regions and their foods, but I've been to a lot of Indian restaurants and am always up for something new. (Sometimes when a new restaurant opens up, people on the staff recognize me-- which I've always found funny. Although I may be ignorant of the styles, I do love the food and that has to mean something.)

Yes, you can get by on the usual standards like palak paneer (mmmm, cheese) or a somosa or naan or something, all good, but this place has all sorts of things I haven't seen before-- crêpe-like dosa and super puffed-up bhatura (it looks somewhat like the cloud associated with hydrogen bomb tests and is as big as my head).

I really don't know everything that I ate, I'll probably have to return a couple of times. All I know is that I enjoyed everything I ate. They smartly just leave everyone with a pitcher of water and are generous with their chutneys and sauces. At one point I was like a food DJ, mixing it all up, I think I probably had a dozen different sauces and chutneys-- too saucy? I enjoyed my salted lassi (even if it appeared the order had been forgotten and required a gentle reminder from my unreticent dining companion.) And, for two people, who ordered more food than we could ever eat, I spent about $35 per visit. If your appetite is larger (I doubt it), maybe, just maybe you could spend $40-$45, but I'd say on average, dinner would cost about $25-$30 for two. Oh right, and the place is clean. Clean!

My only complaints are that the service could have been a bit friendlier, the should have bigger forks, and it would be nice if they were closer to me and moved to Cleveland. (A note on the service, in one instance, the table behind me probably spent ten minutes going through the menu when ordering, and the staff was very patient, knowledgeable, and helpful. That's what really counts.)


Udupi Cafe
Parma Heights, OH
6339 Olde York Rd.
Tags: affordable, indian, informal, parma heights, vegetarian
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