My husband, from Andhra Pradesh, and I were delighted to discover an Indian restaurant with an expansive South Indian menu, a rarity as many people first think of Punjabi/North Indian foods when they hear of "Indian food." This restaurant was a wonderful treat, especially as it is the closest restaurant to West Virginia to supply South Indian cuisine (one restaurant recently opened in Charleston, WV..."Little India," and though it does have a few South Indian dishes, it mainly caters to a North Indian menu).
It seems the website for "Banana Leaf" has expired in October 2010, so no online menu is available for viewing. We sampled from their lunch buffet which may not be as large as some others, but offers a nice assortment of vegetarian and nonvegetarian dishes with EXCELLENT flavor and perfect seasoning. Our foods today included: rice, pakora/pakodi (fried vegetable fritters), lentil rice, potlakaaya (snake gourd) curry, cabbage and vegetable fry, a very tasty sambar (vegetable soup with seasoning), a homestyle chicken curry, butter chicken, naan (flat bread), fried popadum (very thin crispy flat bread), raita, yogurt rice, and kesari (a milk-based dessert). Their mango lassi (mango yogurt smoothie) was delicious too.
This is a small, family run establishment that offered very authentic and true-to-taste dishes without any frills. It is in a key location by the University of Kentucky campus, just across from one of the hospital's main entrances. If you're craving for or curious about South Indian cuisine, go and give this a try...you won't be disappointed!
We plan to come back to try their dinner menu, which had an assortment of typical South Indian dishes (uttappam, dosa, idli, vada) as well as many other options. YUM!
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