UPDATE: This restaurant has permanently closed.
If you put DC in your name, you've already won my heart over as I'm all about DC pride. Okay, seriously, as the veracious vegan, I need to be objective in my review so I'll overlook the fact that DC Dosa is using local pride to win me over. And in case you don't know -- dosas are lentil and rice crepes/pancakes with a vegetable filling served with chutney that hail from South India. Yum.
DC Dosa offers 3 different kinds of dosas, 3 fillings and 3 chutneys to choose from. My first experience was going to the Foggy Bottom Whole Foods where owner, Priya Ammu, set up shop in 2013. You place your order on a computer, then go pick up your dosa where it is made fresh right before your eyes. The wait is quite long, but well worth it.
For my first one, I chose the four-lentil dosa and she let me try both the special cauliflower and pea mixture and the eggplant and sweet potatoes. I loved both of them. Of the three sauces: cilantro, tomato, and peanut, my favorite was the cilantro with the peanut a close second. I love that they fill spongy, thick pancakes with these delicious Indian fillings and serve them with chutney. It is a great idea.
My second visit was to their new location in Union Market. The menu is the same here. You can choose from a four-lentil, petite yellow lentil, or whole mung lentil dosa and fill it with your choice of curried potatoes, eggplant and sweet potatoes, and cabbage and carrots. They just had one person working the entire operation so, again, service is quite slow. This time I tried the mung bean dosa with the eggplant and sweet potato filling. This was a true winner. And we had some sort of onion tamarind chutney that made us both smile. I think I could eat these every day! I will say that the take-out container they put the dosas in is very awkward to eat out of as it barely fits the entire meal inside. I hope they find a better solution in the future.
I was disappointed to find that even though all of the dosas, fillings, and chutneys are vegan, the drink they serve is not. I hope they make their lassi vegan in the future. I've also heard that they may be coming out with a vegan sambhar stew soon. I can't wait to try it!
You'd be hard pressed to find a heartier meal in the area for just $8. All of the dosas are made with fresh ingredients -- no processed products or preservatives are used and they are cooked before your eyes. Their spices are even roasted and ground in-house. And they use organic produce, when available. I predict they'll be expanding to more locations soon. In the meantime, take advantage of their two locations and meet a friend at one for a delicious, hearty lunch.
2201 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20037