May 07, 2007

Palace of Dosas - A review

When a new Indian restaurant opens in a city like Buffalo, especially one offering "authentic south Indian cuisine," the desi community gets all excited. Anyone who had driven past the intersection of Millersport Hwy and Eggert Rd late in March would've noticed a banner that announced the opening of "Palace of Dosas" on April 1. Word spread quickly, and some even wondered if it was all just an elaborate April Fool's joke! But the restaurant did open, a week later, on April 8.

This review is based on our first visit to the Palace of Dosas, but I've added a few details based on subsequent trips.

By all accounts, the cooks and waiters of Palace of Dosas were not prepared for the crowds the first week. There were long queues, and at times, it took nearly 30-45 minutes to get a table. I even heard from a couple of friends that the restaurant ran out of food the first few nights! The waiters seemed ill-prepared to deal with such situations, and on my first visit, I even heard a couple at the next table saying it had been nearly half-an-hour and they hadn't even placed their order! There was, as my anthro professor friend Dr. Lee put it, a sort of "sinking boat" camaraderie in the restaurant - people would turn around, smile at each other, and exchange notes about how long the wait had been!

In spite of all this, we didn't see a single person walk away. The food, clearly, was worth the wait. And I must point out that the service has improved considerably.

We've visited thrice now, and don't see any reason to not go back. Here's a sampling of what we liked the best.

We started out with Medu Vadai, and as one friend put it, they were just right - a crisp golden brown on the outside, and fluffy on the inside. The sambar had the right consistency and spice levels, but the coconut chutney was not up to the mark and we wondered if they had used the frozen shredded coconut one finds in Indian grocery stores in the U.S. instead of freshly grated coconut. For $3.25 a plate, this is the perfect starter.

For dinner, we sampled the different dosas and uthapams.

My personal favorite is the Rava Masala Dosa. It is crisp, golden brown, "holes" that characterize a rava doas were the right size, and the batter is spiced with black pepper, curry leaves, and finely chopped green chillies. In a word, delicious! The masala, a mix of potaoes and peas cooked with onions was a little bland, but the sambar and coconut chutney made up for it. On your first trip, this is a must try ($7.95).

The other dosa we tried was the Mysore Masala Dosa. Smeared with "gun powder" on the inside, it had quite the kick to it! Go for it if you can handle the spice level, but ask for an extra cup of coconut chutney and keep a glass of ice water close at hand! For $6.55, this is another great choice.

The third entree was the mixed vegetable uthapam. With the right mix of vegetables, cilantro, and green chillies, the uthapam was done really well. It isn't easy to make a vegetable uthapam that - while it need not be as crispy as a dosa, a good uthapam should be fluffy with a hint of a golden brown crispiness on one side. The Palace of Dosas gets this right. For $6.55, this is another terrific option.

We decided to end with a round of chai and "madras" coffee. I refrained when the menu said the Madras Coffee was Indian instant coffee, but a couple of my friends willingly tried it for the review :) It was sweet and milky, like all desi and coffee, but not as flavorful.

Overall, the Palace of Dosas is a wonderful addition to Buffalo and I am sure I'll be a regular. If you are in the mood for south Indian food, this is without doubt your best bet in Buffalo.

Location:
656 Millersport Highway
Amherst, NY 14226

27 comments:

  1. Thanks for that review! As a Buffalo native (I now live in Boston), it's exciting to see a new Indian place pop up (and South Indian is my favorite!). Can't wait to try it next time I visit home. Thanks for telling us about it!
    -Amanda

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  2. u lucky people....i am so green with envy:) i liked the rava dosa pic a lot. looks quite delicious:)

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  3. Outside look of this restaurant deceive yummy goodies they have inside!:))
    We found one south Indian restaurant in San Antonio,really enjoyed it.I don't remember name but we went there at least 3 days out of a week!

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  4. Awesome! The pics suggest the food is gonna be great as well. Thank You for sharing the information!

    I am in Buffalo and am gonna try this place today itself!!!

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  5. Anonymous3:45 PM

    Definitely on our must-visit list during our weekend there :)
    - Ramya

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  6. mandira, you guys are so lucky. i wish someone opens an indian restaurant here. we have to drive 2-3 hours to get to a good indian restaurant :(.

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  7. Anonymous4:54 PM

    Hi Mandira,
    I too live in Buffalo and I have visited this place thrice.. just like you.:-).
    MK

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  8. The food looks really good. Being in Los Angeles, I think you get a very good food in Tirupati Bhimas restaurant.

    Its good to have Indian "Love to Go" eatery places in your hometown

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  9. shilpa(Aayisrecipes)6:11 PM

    I wish we had one of those dosa places :(. We have one Indian restaurant here which serves dosas, but the owners are Gujrathis and one byte into their dosas/idlis, you can say they don't know how to make them :(. But their Kachoris, pani puris are good.

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  10. Thanks for your expert opinion. Looks like it's worth a visit.
    A very well written, thorough review.

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  11. Amanda - Do visit the next time you are in town. You'll enjoy the dosas, I'm sure.

    Thanks SC. It is a month old and you can see, I'm already a regular!

    Asha - yes, it's hard to find good dosas. This was quite the find.

    VJ - do let me know what you think of the place and the food.

    Ramya - will definitely add POD in the itinerary :)

    Reena - before this opened, the Saravana Bhawan in Toronto was closest to getting a good dosa. We are all glad that this is here to stay.

    MK - what's your favorite at POD?

    Sushma - I completely agree. A favorite place for that night out or for a leisurely lunch...

    Shilpa - At another Indian restaurant here, we found peas in the rava dosa batter! This one was a great change. :)

    Thanks Andrew, do try and let me know your reactions. I think you'll like it.

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  12. Its good to have a nice dosa place around, am glad you found one. We have a place here in Los Angeles,which serves good dosas and even fusion oottappas! including a Hawaiin oottappa (with pineapples)-but good fare.

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  13. I dont know how you had the patience to take pics. I am drooling from here.
    and nice looking sundae! nice entry for yellow.

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  14. if any chance I will be around in that area in NY, I must go visit!

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  15. Musical - Thanks, this new place has quickly become our favorite. Hawaiin Ootappa sounds intruiging.

    Sharmi - It was easy, pictures whetted my appetite. :) Thanks, the sundae was a treat indeed.

    Gattina - if you are in the area, let me know. I would love to take you to Palace of Dosas :)

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  16. I am VERY fond of Indian food, especially vegetarian. Dosa, vada and idli with all their accompaniments are among my favorites. I must travel to Parsippany, NJ (about 45 minutes) from my home for excellent, authentic fare, but it's worth it. Though I haven't tried every restaurant in NYC, I have found them to be very pricey or not that great.

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  17. I know who to look for when I'm up in the East Coast hehe..wow, you guys got really good Indian food there :)

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  18. Thanks Girl for the review...I am always looking for good Dosa Places...I might be in the NY area again this coming Fall for a Classical concert.....will come by for sure!
    Have you been to "Yuva"?

    trupti

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  19. oh wow!!I wish they would open a branch close to my place in the west coast.
    NEways enjoy

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  20. Susan - this is one of the few vegetarian reestaurants in the area, and their dosas are scrumptious. It's hard to find places that do good dosas, I agree.

    Melting wok, if you are in the area, let me know. I wouldn't describe it as east coast though... we are up north. The snow is a reminder of the location;)

    Yuva in Buffalo, Trupti? I have to look for it. Do let me know when you're here, and we can get some nice crispy dosas :)

    Shaheen - we were so glad when this opened. It saves us a 2-hour drive to Toronto for good dosas. :)

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  21. I meant Yuva in downtown NY.......sorry about that!
    very trendy,very cool place...Loved it.

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  22. thanks for the name...we'll certainly look it up the next time we're in NY.

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  23. Thank you for your review, and I appreciate the comments, too. Does anyone have a copy of the menu? I want to place an order and pick it up on my way home today. Lazy me - hey, it's Friday. Or perhaps someone would send me some vegetarian recommendations. Thanks.

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  24. Anonymous10:26 PM

    does anyone know their phone number? Thier website doesn't work...

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  25. We drove by accidently today and are both very excited! It's time to finish the website & post a menu. There are plenty of computer experts in India... ;)

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  26. i really like this dosa place cuz i tried once...it was awesome....i really like it and i am so happy we got dosa place in buffalo...thankss

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  27. Anonymous7:50 PM

    Hi,
    really nice and detail review...,
    after reading your review ... we decided to go there...

    I visited Naigra with my parents who came to US just one week back and they wanted authentic southIndian and we found one ! :) ) O)


    Thanks for posting your review...!
    -

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