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Dosas, Death, and Pangs of Guilt

Taco Bell
Hotel Saravana Bhavan
Deccan Herald
Saravanaa Bhavan
Madras High Court
the New York Times
the Indian Supreme Court
the Indian Express
Saravanaa Bhavana

Saravanaa Bhavan
Saravanaa Bhavan’s
P. Rajagopal
Patel Brothers’
Prince Santhakumar
Saravana Bhavan
Nat S.
Serial Killer

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Silicon Valley
the Upper West Side

Lexington Avenue
Saravanaa Bhavan
Amsterdam Avenue

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Positivity     45.00%   
   Negativity   55.00%
The New York Times
Write a review: New York Magazine

For us, and many families like ours, that restaurant was Saravanaa Bhavan, a straightforward vegetarian chain that specializes in South Indian staples, like dosas, idlis, uttapams, and vadas.We would eat with our hands, finally free — after so much restraint — to have whatever we wanted. For dessert we both ate bowls of kesari bath, and if no one was looking, I’d pull a raisin out of the heap of sweet semolina and eat it by itself, each one so distended with butter it behaved more like a grape: round, juicy, wrinkle-free.Saravanaa Bhavan’s locations feature uniformly humble, hole-in-the-wall atmospheres, yet the company is, in reality, one of the most successful vegetarian restaurant groups in the world, with, at last count, 111 outposts around the globe, 13 of which are in the U.S., including three in New Jersey, one on Long Island, and two in Manhattan.The chain’s founder, P. The dinner action would be across the river, in Edison, New Jersey, home to sari stores and Patel Brothers’ grocery marts, in the town’s own “Little India.” A Saravanaa Bhavan franchise opened there, in 2006.The Lexington Avenue branch teemed with working professionals, while the Edison branch was a place to unwind after work and on weekends. More New Jersey locations have opened, but even now, when I think back to my own meals, I think of Edison’s Saravanaa Bhavan, because it was the restaurant that gave my family a place to relax when spaces that welcomed us felt so limited.Then again, that warm, wistful feeling is always tempered a bit by the news of Rajagopal’s murder conviction, and the decade-and-a-half he spent avoiding prison.For years, the Rajagopal murder story has been equal parts ludicrous and sensational, perfect tabloid fodder in India; in the U.S., where the restaurants don’t have a big following outside of Desi communities, one of the story’s biggest developments went more or less unnoticed, but if you know, you know.On July 7, Rajagopal, who is now 71, was supposed to report to prison for the third, and final, time. Rajagopal’s two sons run the company now, and in the past year alone, eight new franchises opened around the world, with future expansion planned in Italy, Ireland, and Saudi Arabia.Partly because I’ve moved from New Jersey to Manhattan, and the city is newly flush with excellent vegetarian food, it had been a few years since my last trip to a Saravanaa Bhavan.

As said here by Bindu Bansinath