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Kesari Vegetarian Restaurant, Plano TX

When I moved to the Dallas-FortWorth metroplex a couple of years ago, I was shocked by the sheer number and variety of Indian restaurants here. Having lived in a smaller town for many years before, I had gotten used to the ‘Americanized’ version of desi food. So the authenticity of tastes and regional styles of cuisines was quite refreshing.

For the next year or so, my family went on a quest of finding the best Indian restaurants in town, trying a new one every couple of weeks. We visited the highly advertised ones, the well-known ‘biggies’, the small hole-in-a-wall types and everything in between.  And in the process, discovered some wonderful gems!

Kesari Vegetarian Restaurant is one of our most loved places to visit for lunch/dinner these days. A small and neat place tucked away in the heart of Plano, TX (intersection of Independence & Parker), Kesari serves excellent South Indian food and a few specific North Indian dishes. They feature a variety of Dosas, Vadais, along with the staple Idlis and Upma. The North Indian fare includes Methi Malai, Rajma, Dal Makhani, Palak Paneer, Malai Kofta and Paneer Bhurji .

What I love the most about Kesari’s food is that it has a very light feel to it and an unmistakable homemade taste. The North or South Indian thali make for a complete and satisfying meal, without the heaviness and guilt that food from most Indian restaurants will impart later on.

Kesari's prices are very reasonable and the place is amazingly clean. Kudos to the owners, the husband-wife duo of Malolan and Gayathri!

Click here to see Kesari Menu - http://www.kesarifoods.com/menu.html

Address: 3100 Independence Parkway, Ste 319, Plano, TX 75075

Phone: 972-519-0888

Mayuri Indian Cuisine, Memphis TN

Mayuri Indian Cuisine is the first ever restaurant to serve South Indian food in Memphis. Since its inauguration on Union Avenue in March 2001, the restaurant has seen quite a few changes over the last 9 years. Currently located in East Memphis at the intersection of Quince and Kirby, it is owned by Mr. Krishna Rao Chattu and his partners.

Every time you walk into Mayuri, Mr. Chattu’s friendly smile unfailingly greets you. As soon as you are comfortably seated, the menu arrives with its wide offering of South Indian delicacies ranging from the typical Idli and Dosa to a variety of Biryanis. The menu also boasts North Indian dishes like Matar Paneer and Chicken Makhani. Weekday lunch and weekend buffets feature an array of mouth watering items, sure to please both vegetarians and meat lovers.

One chilly Monday afternoon, as we entered the restaurant, trailed by our weary kids, steaming Garam Chai and delicious Mango Juice welcomed us. We sat at the back table for a tête-à-tête with Mr. Chattu where he opened up about himself and his restaurant….

Tell us about yourself…

I was born in a small village in coastal Andhra Pradesh, India. I worked as a cook in Vijaywada for many years before coming to the US in 1986. My first base in the US was in San Jose, California before moving to Memphis in 2004. Cooking is my passion and our family business for generations.

Who is involved in running the business and what does your day look like?

My brother and I manage the business, including the day-to-day operations at the restaurant. My wife and sister-in-law are our primary chefs.

Our typical day begins at 9 am with cooking for the lunch buffet. The buffet runs from 11.30 am to 2:30 pm. After that, we immediately start preparations for dinner which begins at 5:00 pm. The restaurant is usually open till 9:30 pm. It is certainly a lot of hard work for the entire family.

Your food has a nice home made quality to it. What is your secret?

First and foremost, the credit goes to our chefs - my wife and sister-in-law. They cook with the same dedication and meticulousness as they would at home. That makes a world of difference.

Secondly, we always use the freshest produce from Palazola, quality ingredients from US Foods and the best Indian groceries ordered directly from Chicago.

How has Mayuri evolved since you acquired it in 2004? Do you have any other branches in the US?

Mayuri was the first establishment to introduce South Indian cuisine to discerning Memphians. It was very well received by the local community then and we continue to enjoy the same interest today, despite many other available options.

First time visitors often compliment us on the wide variety of dishes offered and the exotic taste of our food. Many of them soon become regulars, enjoying our delicacies at least once a week. However, the current economic conditions are significantly impacting our patrons and ultimately us. My hope is that 2010 will bring positive changes to the economy.

We do not have any other branches but my brother-in-law and his friend owns a South Indian Restaurant, Priya, in St. Louis. You will find similar quality fare and home made taste there.

What is your favorite dish at Mayuri and can you share a recipe with us?

My personal favorite is Chicken Makhani. I usually have that for lunch at the restaurant. Our patrons love the Domestic Chicken served at the Sunday buffet. Other very popular dishes are Rasam, Egg Biryani, Lamb Curry, Yogurt Rice and Spinach Dal.

Last but not the least, any message for our readers?

I want to thank all our patrons for continued support and making us a part of your culinary adventure. We look forward to serving you for many years to come and appreciate your compliments and suggestions.

Mayuri caters food for parties and special occasions. We also provide space and food for get-togethers of up to 30 people in our restaurant. For details please call at 901-753-8755.

Mayuri Indian Cuisine  6524 Quince Road   Memphis, TN 38119   Ph: 901-753-8755  Fax: 901-753-5979