Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Saravanaa Bhavan- A First For This Blog

Restaurant: Saravanaa Bhavan
Address: 8604 North MacArthur Boulevard, Irving, Texas 75063
Buffet or a-la-carte: a-la-carte
Date of visit: 1/2/2015

Photo Credit:

UPDATE 8/10/15:
My family loves going to the Houston location (8350 Westheimer Rd). The Houston location is opposite Fadi's and literally next to Fogo De Chao. I've had their vegetarian biryani and gobi mattar (cauliflower and vegetables curry). Pretty good for vegetarian food. Grading remains the same

Vegetable Biryani

Gobi Mattar and Rice

Houston Address: 8350 Westheimer Road, Houston, Texas 
Houston Phone Number: (713) 789-7755



Salam/hey guys! Today I will be reviewing my first restaurant visit of the new year: Saravanaa Bhavan. And by the pic, it is clear that in the blog full of juicy meat comes something new. That's right! We are going vegetarian for today. Usually Indian restaurants typically feature vegetarian and non-vegetarian food? This restaurant specializes in vegetarian food. Now let me tell you something about vegetarian food. There is always a high possibility that a vegetarian restaurant would be an Indian restaurant. This is because India has the highest number of vegetarians in the world, and a good number of them reside elsewhere in the world. The vegetarians got their food with them, and Indian vegetarian food is enjoyed elsewhere in the world. Saravanaa Bhavan is a restaurant chain that specializes in vegetarian food from South India. It was founded in 1981, and has locations in Chennai, Delhi, Nairobi, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Paris, Frankfurt, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Kuwait, Muscat, Saudi Arabia (Dammam and Riyadh), Doha, Bahrain, four locations in the UK, Toronto, Northern California, New Jersey, New York City, and Houston (8350 Westheimer Rd). This is very similar to Paradise Biryani point, which is an Indian restaurant chain that specializes in biryani. While the latter failed to impress in being "The Best Biryani in USA", this one claims to be "A Chain Of High Quality Vegetarian Restaurants". So how did a meat person like me end up eating at a vegetarian restaurant? Well, it's simple. My mom and two aunts are huge fans of vegetarian food. They simply decided at the last minute that we should drive down to Irving from Allen (north of Plano) to eat there. So 14 people got into 2 vans and left to the restaurant.

Let The Experience Begin!
The distance to the restaurant from my aunt's house was 29.3 miles. That sets a new record for most miles driven to a restaurant in a single metro area. The record all time was a staggering 151 miles from my uncle's house in North Olmstead, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, to Dearborn, Michigan in 2013. When we got there, it was PACKED. In fact, it was so packed that the waitress told us initially that they were not able to accommodate for 14 people! Then the problem was solved when the people were asked to move to another table in a good manner. The people obliged. My aunt had ordered masala dosas (lentils and rice crepe suffed with mildly spiced mashed potatoes and onions) and regular dosas (non-stuffed lentils and rice crepes) for my 11 year old, 6 year old, and 9 year old cousins. After getting our table, we got menus and went through the menu.

Let's Eat!
Everyone in the group either ordered dosas or thalis. They ordered idlis (rice and black lentils cake) to go with their dishes. I went ahead and ordered the veggie pulao (milder version of biryani), which also came with raita. The average price per person was roughly $10-11, which was great considering that there were 14 people in the group including me. We got our food fast. Within 30 minutes, we all got our food. Now here is why I have ordered something no one else had ordered. Ever since the days of living in Saudi, I loved trying different things. There were some things I thought looked disgusting, but it turned out to be amazing. One clear example was broccoli. When I had visited New York, I was literally forced to try it. To this day, I am thankful that I had tried it, and now I would get it whenever I get a chance to. There were also some things I loved as a kid but stopped eating as I grew older. The prime example was plain sugar. I would eat it to the point that my mom had to hide it so that I wouldn't see it. Now, I just pass by a jar of sugar whenever I see it. Regarding idlis and dosas, I have tried it many times (most recent = August) and I still do not like the taste. I honestly find them to be very sour to my liking. I strongly dislike the mashed potato and onions. But does that mean I hate Indian vegetarian cuisine in general? No. You will see below.

As you can see in the menu, idlis and dosas do not define the entire vegetarian cuisine of India. Vegetarian cuisine is widespread in India, since there are vegetarians and non-vegetarians in every major city in India. Believe it or not, there are many vegetarian dishes on the menu that I absolutely love. Examples include Aloo Gobi, and anything that doesn't have paneer (Indian cottage cheese) or baignan (eggplant/aubergine). Why did I not have these before? Because the huge meat fanatic inside me prevented me from going to vegetarian restaurants, and many of the restaurants I have been to rarely have any vegetarian options. It is good to see that all the vegetarian dishes from India are included in the menu.

The Vegetable Pulao

The Verdict:
So how did the meat-eater like me find this dish? Well, it was absolutely delicious! The rice was perfectly cooked and spiced. The raita was also phenomenal. The food was washed down with a glass of water. Overall, two thumbs up.
The best thing about the service was that the food came out very quickly even though we were a party of 14 and the restaurant was packed. The people were also really nice.

If you have any vegetarian friends in Dallas, then Saravanaa Bhavan is a perfect place to take them! They have really good food and the people are nice. I will definitely review more vegetarian restaurants in the future.

Service: 9/10
Food: 9/10
Waiting Time: 10/10
Total: 28/30 = 93.3% (A)
Pricing: $ out of $$$$

Restaurant Information:
Saravanaa Bhavan
8604 North MacArthur Boulevard, Irving, Texas 75063
Phone: (972) 506-7755
Facebook: None
Timings: Mon-Fri: 11:30 AM - 3 PM and 5:30 PM - 10 PM; Sat and Sun- 11 AM - 10 PM
Caters: Yes

Feel free to message me on Facebook, leave a comment here, or send me an email!

Zain Mohammed

1 comment:

  1. hi, I was trying to find out the new saravana bhavan restaurant in Riyadh and came across your blog. that's pretty interesting stuff you got here. surprised to know about this saravana bhavan in America. thank you for the review