Forget the Shorts, The Only Madras I’m Interested in Today is the Pavilion

I’ve had more than my fair share of vegetarian entrees placed in front of me by chefs beaming with anticipation of converting me to a meatless lifestyle. It never took. Not one of the dishes offered that X-factor I need in order to feel satisfied, probably because in addition to being vegetarian, most of them were shunning salt, fats, and oils in an attempt to also create something healthy.

Last night, at Madras Pavilion, I felt like I finally discovered the best of both—a veggie feast spiced to the gills and custom made for my hearty appetite. Not only was the food piping hot, fresh, plentiful, and affordable ($34 for a five-course chef’s feast for two), but it drew a crowd that was 90 percent Indian, always a good sign (apart from the two of us, the only other non-Indian table was a family of observant Jews, most likely there because the restaurant is also Kosher).

Course #1:  Mulligatawny soup

Course #2: veggie fritters

Course #3: potato and vegetable dosai (I was already stuffed at this point.)

Course #4: naan and rice with pots of yellow dal, saag with cheese, vegetable curry

Course #5: cheese disc in sweet coconut milk and topped with crushed pistachios

But I fell down on the job, readers. I only took one picture, and it was after we had done serious damage to the fourth course of our five-course, $34 marathon.

jump for the not-at-all helpful picture…

Clockwise from bottom left: cheese, coconut milk, and pistachio dessert; naan; rice; yellow dal, sag with cheese, vegetable curry.

It’s a terrible picture. Please accept my apologies.