The Vegetarian

Twin Cities, Minnesota

Reviews


rating star

*update* its closed now. Now I gotta look for a good iindian restaurant in minneapolis again. Food went downhill here, I got sick too. Now to start looking again. Nala pak, dancing ganesha, delights of india were all medioce(delights was bad, actually, tasted like breakfast cereal). Goodbye veg, hoping you reopen somewhere, and clean up the kitchen!

Great food. I rarely eat inside, mostly get to-go food which is always quickly accommodated. Nothing is ever plain here. The rice will actually have whole cinnamon sticks and whole cardamon in it, unlike other Indian restaurants where you just get white rice. Could be cleaner inside or more inviting.

They recently had a fire and have not yet re-opened. Went to a different Indian Restauraunt up on central and had a terrible experience, making me miss this place all the more. Try it if you haven't, if you have, go back once they re-open and support them. Good Indian food needs to thrive in this city. I've never had bad food here.

Haven't had the buffet, not a buffet person.


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Mmmm... excellent service, tastey food, all around great experience.


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*Update: I'd agree with other reviewers that the food has become very heavy on the oil. I definitely don't enjoy that. I still like their dosa though.*

The food here is the best Indian food I've had in Minneapolis. I've enjoyed the eggplant masala a few times, and tonight had the aloo gobi. It was creamy with a sweet note that I really enjoyed. We also ordered the onion chili uthappam, which was delicious, although the coconut chutney is not to my liking (plus it tasted like yogurt which scared me off.) I also like the vegetable pakora, but found the idli and vada combo a little too bland/heavy. The masala dosa was satisfactory.
The service here is fairly prompt and very friendly. As mentioned in another review, it is very quiet. I greatly enjoyed that the entire restaurant is vegetarian/vegan and that at least half of the options are vegan. Knowing that there isn't any meat cooked on any of the frying pans makes me feel at home!
Added bonus: the restaurant is draped in bright orange fabric. I'd take it home with me to make curtains if I could.


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Horrible experience - bad food, dirty restaurant. Stale nauseating order permeated our clothing and hair. Indigestion all night - I think the food was several days old, and had been reheated from their steam table. Ugh. When we got home we washed all our clothing, and took showers. Worst restaurant I've ever been to.


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We were looking for a great vegetarian meal, and we found this place online. The ratings were good, and we like Indian food, so we went for an early dinner on a Saturday evening. What a mistake! The food was bland and stale, and most of it tasted as if it had been left over from the lunch steam table the day before. The place was not exactly dirty, but it did have a very stale, oily, odor. And while we like Indian food, I would expect more than just standard Indian fare from a restaurant called "The Vegetarian".

Worst was that we both became ill after the meal. Not quite food poisoning, but terrible indigestion that kept us up all night - even though we have spicy Indian food all the time. Absolutely the worst dining experience we have ever had.


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Used to love the auhtentic north-Indian food especially chick-peas (pindi chana). Wife and I got sick once. Stopped going there. Went back after 6 months for the chana. Got sick the same night. Less customers in the restaurant means that they cook the food once-a-fortnight (or something like that). We are never going back.

Image for conde.kedar

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UPDATE: The food here just isn't doing it for me the way it used to. It's still acceptable, and better than your average strip-mall Indian buffet in Bloomington, but lately the dishes here seem a bit too oily and hastily prepared. And the total lack of ambience and decor in the restaurant, while normally not an issue for me, is starting to stand out now that the food quality has decreased. I'd much rather go to Delights of India instead, which is brighter, fresher and has better food.

ORIGINAL review: The Vegetarian has extremely friendly service and a simple menu of basic, honest Indian food. Its specialty is South Indian cooking, but they also have some North Indian standards. Everything that is vegan is clearly marked on the menu and the kitchen is more than willing to modify some dishes to make them vegan, should you wish. The prices are reasonable, too. Overall, a recommended restaurant.

Image for vaxjo

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We had idli, eggplant masala, veggie curry and bhatura. It was good but unnecessarily oily. Service was adequate but the ambiance was lousy. If I were in the neighborhood I might go here again but I doubt I would drive very far for it.

Image for Cass Danger

rating star

Considering its #1 ranking on VegGuide.org and recommendations from a number of friends, I was expecting more from The Vegetarian. Our waitress was very friendly and willing to swap things out so our meal was vegan, but the service was extremely slow. We only received our bill after we stood up and began walking toward the counter, and our waitress (who was very nice) was sitting down the last 10 minutes we were there and didn't bother to get up when we left, she only waived goodbye from her chair in the back.

There were only 2 other tables dining but it took nearly 40 minutes to get our food. After about 30 minutes of waiting, we were told that one of the dishes we ordered takes a while to prepare. If this is true, we should have been told right when we ordered it because they could easily have been trying to cover up forgetting to put our order in.

My friend and I shared the onion bhaji, which is an Indian version of onion rings. It was very good but seemed to be very batter heavy. My friend ordered the madrasi thali--basically a sampler platter--and the waitress even offered to swap the desserts so the meal would be all vegan (after omitting the yogurt). While most couple of the items on this platter were tasty, the soup was exceedingly sour. I had the pindi chana, which was an amazing chickpea with gravy sort of dish. It was a wonderful mix of sweet and savory spices in a thick brown sort of gravy, served with rice. It had a very unique and delightful flavor and went very well with bhatura (fried puffy bread).


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I recently had a small party here and had a great experience! The server was amazing! Friendly, knowledgeable, attentive and very helpful! The food was amazing and everyone in the party loved the food and most of them were not vegetarians, vegans, or familiar with Indian food! We enjoyed sharing and trying each others' dishes and they were more then happy to make recommendations and cater the spiciness to our tastes.
I am already craving their food again. The owner/cook came out to make sure we enjoyed our food and chat with us a little.
My only complaint is the that is was way too quiet. There was no music playing and the restaurant was nearly empty with only a few tables with couples. We almost felt as though we had to whisper as to not interrupt the other diners, which was a strange atmosphere for a party!


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The Vegetarian has all the right ingredients - good food & service, great selection and reasonable prices. Owner-chef is friendly. I eat in, I take out over and over again because the food is hard to resist.


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Five of my friends and I enjoyed the buffet (11:00 AM - 2:00 PM) on Saturday and it was wonderful. This is one of the best places around for Palak Paneer. Definitely worth the meager price.

The family that runs this restaurant is friendly and gracious. I have only been there twice (both times in the last week) but this is my new favorite Indian restaurant.


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Note sure why everyone is rating this so highly. I found it to be reasonably good Indian fare, perhaps not as good as Nala Pak a few blocks to the north. Smallish inside, didn't seem as "clean" as Nala Pak, India Palace, and others. We had the lunch buffet. It lacked malai kofta, and other Indian dishes we like to compare. Buffet included naan and dosais, which were good.


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The owners are so nice, the food is good and not your usual Indian fare, and it's completely vegetarian, so I love it.


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I love the food here! I have been to India three times and the food reminds me of my journeys. Great food.


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this is by far the best Indian food i have had the pleasure of eating & I'm not even a vegan or vegetarian......the herbs & spices are mixed with an experts touch to make the best tasting vegan or vegetarian food......i eat there often & have brought many different family & friends, they all say the same, EXCELLENT !!!!


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I went to The Vegetarian on a weekday & had the lunch special (dal & palak paneer). The food was amazing, especially the dal & naan. It was certainly the best Indian food I've had outside of India. Made me nostalgic. I'm going again tonight for dinner. Hope it's just as good.

OK, I went back for dinner & am now convinced this is the best Indian restaurant in the twin cities. My husband & I had the somosas, naan, dal makhani & shahi paneer. The food was so rich & delicious, just like the food in Northern India. The family that runs the place is very sweet. I can't wait to go back.


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Stopped in for lunch on a recent visit. The food was fantastic and the owner was great. He can do many vegan options, including the breads. I will definitely go back on my next visit! Keep supporting this place - it was pretty dead when I was in on a Wednesday lunch.


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I came here with a group of 15 people and the service and food was excellent! The waitstaff was very conscientious and had everything set up before we arrived since we had made reservations. This is my new favorite Indian restaurant!


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Bowing Down To Greatness! :)

This is my favorite place to come and eat. The service has always been outstanding. The food is awesome and the owner takes personal care with what he serves. Seriously I have a love affair with their mango Lassi. I think my husband may be a little jealous.
I can't think of one thing that I have tried that I don't enjoy eating. This place is a total gem and I highly recommend it. mmmm.... Kheer, lassi, garlic naan goodness... need I even go into his dinner entrees. LOL
He is also awesome for first timers if you let him know you don't want things to spicy. This place is totally great for going out with your friends or a nice dinner for two ;)

Enjoy


rating star

I'm verifying the positive reviews about The Vegetarian, which thankfully lives up to its name with all veggie cuisine.

The menu indicates vegan items with a special symbol for ease of use.

I enjoyed my dinner, especially the vada rasa soup, which consists of chickpea dumplings in a thick, herbal tomato (rasam) base. The main entree, a vegetable curry, wasn't nearly as good, but was still very enjoyable.

Next time, I'll have to try the very impressive dosas, appetizing both in sheer size and in the quantity of the potato filling throughout, which all three in our group (who had ordered this) raved about.

Service was fun and excellent, and our server handled our big group of 20 (and our potentially obnoxious joking) in stride. She was awesome!

With the passing of the former Udupi restaurant, The Vegetarian fills the impressive void easily for excellent vegan and vegetarian cuisine from both Southern and Northern India in a fun setting. I'd go back in a heartbeat.


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I have never been much of a fan of vegetarian food until I had the lunch buffet at The Vegetarian. The food was extremely flavorful and it had substance. Even though the dishes have names that are unpronounceable by a middle age white guy,they are wonderful. What the chef/owner does with beans,rice,vegetables and his sauces makes this food a very unique meal. For non-vegetarian and vegetarian alike this place will change your view on how good food can be.


rating star

I am a big fan of Indian food and have tried many places around the Twin Cities but this place just blew me away. My only hope is that it gets enough business to stay afloat, but not so crowded that walking in at 7:00 on a Saturday night like we did would become impossible. We were one of four tables dining on a Saturday, and one of the tables knew the owner.

The service was wonderful and attentive but not overwhelming. Our meal was perfectly cooked and seasoned and my husband's sampler plate was clearly explained. Every dish on it was delicious and well done. Perfectly cooked Palak Paneer with delightful and perfect cheese, lentils still firm and smooth, rice was toothsome and vegetables in the biryani were still recognizable. Even the Indian spice tea was divine, delicately flavored and a wonderful drinking temperature.

I would go back in a heartbeat and keep going until I tried everything on the menu and then probably start over again. This place is not to be missed!!


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Anyone who doesn't give this place a 10 doesn't know what they're talking about. If there was ever a place in the Twin Cities to support, this is it! The short of it: the best Indian food I've ever had (I've probably been to about 20 different places). The service was fantastic with the owner and his daughter (I believe) going out of their way to make it a fantastic dining experience. As others have said, the whole place is vegetarian with vegan items (at least half the menu) marked. If you're eating Indian elsewhere, you're wasting your time and money.

I had the Masala Dosa (#33 on the menu - vegan) on the recommendation of our server. She was so right! The thing was gigantic and about the tastiest thing I've ever eaten. It came with a lentil soup and a coconut curry dip. All of this was only $7! A welcome change from overpriced Twin Cities dining. For dessert I had Jalebi (vegan) -- golden sweet pretzel -- which was delicious and like nothing I've ever had. Plus, I got it on the house (told you the service was good)! To drink I had the Indian Tea which was the best tea I've ever had.

My wife ate vegetarian and had the Punjabi Thali (#30) -- which is basically a sampling of different dishes including appetizer and dessert. She loved her dinner just as much as I did. The Samosa with my wife's dinner was the most unique, delicious Samosa I've ever tasted.

I know I'm gushing, but this place is that good! We went for dinner and can't wait to try the lunch buffet. Apparently if you come for the Sunday lunch buffet, the owners told us you get some food item free (can't remember what).

Seriously folks, let's support this place (and ask them to start carrying beer and wine)!


rating star

I love the gluten-free yummy pancake style "Uthappam" which comes with "sambar", (a -- different than anything I've had before -- pidgeon pea soup with veggies in it) and a coconut chutney. It's so good to find things like this that are gluten free and very good. The batter is made from rice and beans and comes out white and yummy. I got it with onions and peas on it.

I also love their "thali" lunch platters because you get to choose two entrees, and get a lot of other things too, but yet don't overeat like I tend to at his delicious buffet.


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This is a must-try restaurant for any Indian food lover! The buffet was delicious. It was spicy, as Indian food should be, but delicate enough for sensitive tongues. Everything on the buffet remains covered, so it remained as hot as if we had ordered it off the menu. The vegan items were in the majority, with only 2 entrees being vegetarian, but not vegan. They even had a vegan dessert, which is hard to find at a buffet. The service was wonderful as well. When we asked about the vegan fare, we were told it was almost all vegan, and if we didn't find enough, they would make us some more! The owner was extremely caring and wanted us to enjoy every minute of our meal. Even better, after 11 years of serving meat dishes, the owner and his family converted to an all-veg menu after converting to vegetarianism themselves! How can we not support this wonderful restaurant?


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I've had Indian food in different countries in Asia, from Japan to Singapore. Each has its own "my favorite Indian restaurant." I've been here in the Twin Cities for nearly 5 years now but I have to admit, "The Vegetarian" is by far the best. You can't go wrong. The food is so flavorful, not to mention the MIND BLOWING service. Ashok, the owner is really such a nice gentleman. He really knows how to treat his customers.


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The owner is very friendly and genuinely goes out of his way to please customers. He made me something that wasn't on the buffet that I asked about and then he didn't charge me for it. I paid for it anyway because it was delicious. The buffet plus the additional item he made especially for me left me feeling satisfied and full. Nearly all the menu items can be made vegan and most already are by nature. I've been to almost every Indian restaurant in the Twin Cities and this one has by far the best flavor and wide variety of both northern AND southern Indian food. TOTALLY DELICIOUS!


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Loved it. My new favorite Indian restaurant. The Masala Dosas are better than the ones I had in India! Good service, good buffet and impressive menu.

Image for Dave Rolsky

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The food I've had here was all pretty fantastic, and the service was quite good as well. The onion bhaji, which is basically Indian onion rings, was excellent. This is one of my favorite Indian dishes, though I've mostly seen it on the east coast. The samosas were also excellent, as was the pindi chana and aloo dum.

The service is pretty amazing. On my last visit I suggested that they get soy milk so they could make soy mango lassis. The waiter walked across the street to the Chinese restaurant, bought a few cans of soy milk, and made us lassis! And it was really cold that night too.


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Excellent food. I tried the onion bhaji, which had a good flavor, but were too soggy. I also tried the samosas and pakoora, which were both quite tasty. The samosas had an excellent flaky crust.

I had a spicy okra dish, which was really tasty. My fiance had a lentil dish, which again had some great flavors. Another companion had this amzingly gigantic "crepe" with potatoes and veggies in it. Excellent. The garlic nan was probably one of my favorite parts of the meal. It was so fresh and fluffy and lots of garlic.

Everything on the menu was clearly marked whether or not it could be vegan, and the service was wonderful. I definitely want to go back and try some more dishes and also to support an all vegetarian restaurant.


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Our first visit here confirmed they really are closed on Tuesdays :-). We tried again and the food here is great and very Vegan Friendly. We drive past Nalapak (ex-Udupi) to get to this place. Well worth the extra short drive.

Image for Unny Nambudiripad

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Food was excellent, and the service was really good. The menu had vegan items marked. The serving size was small.

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