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Udipi Cafe: Vegetarian Buffet

Posted by CMH Gourmand on November 6, 2009

2001 East Dublin Granville Road (161) * Columbus * 614.885.7446

I love Indian food yet I know nothing about it. I can’t recall the name of the dishes I like. I could not begin to describe the subtle and not so subtle flavors of Northern, Southern, and the other regional cuisines of India. Each meal is an exploration of spices, tongue pleasing tastes and tongue tying names. OK, honestly my lack of knowledge is due to sloth because I am a sucker for an Indian buffet. A buffet is like a parade for my stomach – there is so much to see and eat that I lose track of the names and all of the flavors start to blend together.

The 161 / East Dubin Granville Road strip was known as restaurant row in the 1980’s, it consisted of miles of the best Columbus has to offer: Flakey Jake’s Hamburgers, Chi Chi’s, Olive Garden, The Elephant Bar and every chain restaurant that could find space to build. The area is still overrun with eateries but the glory days have gone. Udipi Cafe is very much an outlier in the seemingly endless array of fried food and cheese covered cuisine. The Beechcroft area is not exactly known for it’s large Asian Indian community however 80% of the buffet customers seem to be natives of India and make the trek to this part of town for the buffet. I think that is quite an endorsement.

I am certain the term vegetarian strikes fear into the minds and stomachs of many meat eating, Applebees lovin’ central Ohioans. I imagine the concept of Indian cuisine does the same to the people in a venn diagram overlapping with carnivores afraid of people that eat vegetables by choice. If you have one of these people in your life, might I suggest you take them to Udipi Cafe – as their gateway meal to the “dark side” of culinary choice.

The way to lure people in is through the value of Udipi’s lunch buffet. This all you can eat buffet will knock you back a whooping $7.46, including tax. In exchange for what would be a tip at many places you have access to fourteen plus entrees as well as soups, salad, sauces and dessert. A pitcher of water is brought to your table so you can stay hydrated during your feast.

At some point during your meal this will be delivered to your table….I could have asked what it was but I was too busy stuffing my face.

If you don’t have time to dine in, you can drop in to fill up a large carry out container for the same price.

The Udipi Cafe Buffet is a great way to explore the vegetarian cuisine of Southern India. The experience does not make you bother with having to remember or pronounce what you are eating. Once you get hooked in by the buffet you can always come back for dinner and discover the menu in depth.

The buffet is offered from 11:30 AM to 3 PM Monday to Friday.

2 Responses to “Udipi Cafe: Vegetarian Buffet”

  1. Jared R. said

    When I lived in the ‘burbs, I used to eat here regularly. Both Udipi Cafe and Banana Leaf on Bethel feature great South Indian vegetarian buffets. I’m interested in the regional variances that separate types of Indian cuisine, and Columbus has a great variety of places that showcase the flavors of India.

  2. Laura said

    The item brought to your table is a small masala dosa. 🙂

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