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The Vegetarian
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I had passed the tiny Columbia Heights Indian restaurant called The Vegetarian many times, usually on my way to The Heights movie theater or Nala Pak, another vegetarian Indian restaurant further down Central Avenue. But it wasn't until I read a little write-up about them in the most recent issue of Metro Magazine that I decided to give it a try. Mike and I stopped in around 2:00 on Thursday, hoping we weren't too late for the lunch buffet. Upon entering the empty restaurant, the sole occupant (the proprieter) informed us the buffet is now available only on weekends. So we settled in at a table (complete with Christmas-themed paper placemats) to look over the menu. The Metro Mag write-up had commented on the restaurant's Dosa--a huge lentil crepe filled with fried potatoes and onions--so I knew I wanted to try one of those. Mike settled on the Vegetarian Curry after being amused by several of the menu's descriptions of other dishes--"It is so good."

We got some vegetable pakoras to start with, and they arrived promptly, steaming hot and delicious with two dipping sauces. We licked that plate clean just in time for the entrees to arrive. The Dosa is indeed huge. It is served on a plate the length of my arm and was far too much food for 2 people to eat, though we gave it quite the college try. The curry was a much smaller portion--not recommended for sharing, but perfect for one person. It was perfectly seasoned, the vegetables wonderfully tender, and not swimming in a soupy curry sauce. The sauce was thick and spare, clinging to each bite with just the right amount of kick.

We chatted with the owner of the restaurant for a while, and he expressed the restaurant's real need for some more business. I highly encourage people to make the trek to Columbia Heights to give The Vegetarian a try. It's some of the most delicious Indian food I've had in the cities.


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