Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Woodlands: Cheap bite, unimpressive otherwise


Woodlands. Just look at it: On S. Orange Blossom Trail a few blocks away from the nearest strip club, a signature-ugly shade of green painted building with an uninviting front door plastered with print-outs of their lunch buffet price and equally-ugly orange colored "Yes We're Open" sign. Yet, this is where some local Indians go. It's my personal belief that customers have selective vision- in this case, they don't care about anything but a cheap, vegetarian bite.

Prior to the visit, I had to check their online website for a little homework for what I wanted to eat. When I arrived, I was happy to encounter an on-site menu which was much larger with many more options. I decided to try what I deemed would denote tasty Indian food- the standard Idli, and a Dosa- more specifically, the Mysore masala dosa. To finish things off, I wanted to try their Madras paysam for dessert.

The Mysore masala dosa was okay... I just wished the proprietor had trained the Latinos cooking in the kitchen the flavor rather than just the technique of the dish. The unfamiliarly bland masala inside the dosa left me wondering if this is a Spanish version of the dish. The accompanying idli and sambhar were okay. The idli should've been soft as a cloud when freshly prepared, but you could tell that it wasn't straight out of the steamer. {{I don't hold this point against the establishment, because, from first hand experience, I know how quickly the flavor of an Idli changes as it cools. It would be absurd of me to expect a dive to make custom-order idlis}}. On another note, I especially appreciated the chunks of garlic in their version of sambhar. They were like floating spice bombs.

However, the entree wasn't cohesive because their flavors were off. I didn't feel like lifting the spoon repeatedly towards my mouth- in other words, I didn't love what I was eating. Add insult to injury, it made me feel I should've have opted for their lunctime buffet instead- at least I could've found something on there I would've liked and it would have worked out to be better price too. However, the portion size of the entree was large. I found a silver lining in that. When an employee said that they were out of Madras Paysam, I didn't complain because my stomach was too busy with what I had already eaten.

Service was sub-par. A pitcher of water was promptly put on our table and after we placed our order, we were forgotten. We were a party of 3- my friends quickly succumbed to the spices and I had to hunt down an employee and ask him for a refill on the water.

IN A NUTSHELL- Go for the cheap eat. Don't expect perfection- with the service or the flavors. It's a vegetarians roughage stop.

Woodlands on Urbanspoon

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