Friday, February 10, 2006

Virginia Chow: Inaugural Entry

As part of my job, I am on the road all day every day, kind of like a traveling salesman. It has its perks, I really am glad not to be tied to a desk all day. And, when I have more than 15 minutes to take a lunch break, I get to enjoy lunch at local restaurants.

So I thought I would blog about a few of them when I get the chance, in case you're ever in some of these rural Virginia counties (Orange, Culpeper, Fauquier) or in my one major county (Prince William) or my home counties (Stafford and Spotsylvania) and find yourself wanting something to eat.

Today was a special day, travel-wise, as I got to go all the way to Albemarle County--lovely Charlottesville, VA to be exact.

Now, Virginia has a pretty diverse ethnic population through and through, particularly the Eastern part of the state which has lots of commuters to DC. And one cuisine I have come to L-O-V-E LOVE is Indian. It's not anything I ever tried up north. My father in particular is not an adventurous eater, and I guess I kind of adopted his prejudices and decided I didn't like curry (at least not my mom's curry), and thus I would not like Indian food.

When I started this job, we had 2 Indian women on staff, and for one's retirement party, we wound up at 2 different Indian restaurants--one vegetarian and one not--in Fairfax.

Now, the beauty of this was I was introduced to the cuisine by native Indians. I learned so much about the food--and most importantly the level of spiciness, that I was able to carefully pick foods I thought I would enjoy, delve into others, and experiment here and there. Now when I go into an Indian restaurant on my own, I'm more at ease with what to order, or, ideally if there is a buffet, I have an idea what certain spices will do and what I might like, and what I should avoid.

Today, as I was killing time in Charlottesville before my appointment, I saw a place called the Maharajah Restaurant. Located right on Route 29 in Charlottesville, I decided to take a chance, since it was an easy hop back on the highway to get where I needed to go.


The decor is lovely--not at all over the top. The waiter was top notch. The ambience was authentic and soothing. But the food... The food was fantastic.

I have to say, it was the best Indian buffet I have been to. The naan was fresh and crisp, the fried vegetable fritters divine. They had lovely basmati rice that was a perfect compliment to the numerous main dishes--both vegetable and meat--which were available. They also had a nice salad and chutney bar and dessert station.

If you're in Charlottesville and you want good food and plenty of it, I cannot recommend Maharajah enough. The lunch buffet, including a soft drink came in at under $10.

Maharajah Indian Cuisine
139 Zan Rd # 29n
Charlottesville, VA


1 pearl(s) of wisdom:

nettiemac said...

Haven't been to Charlottesville since the late 70s. My mother used to spend her summers in a little town south of Charlottesville (heading toward Lynchburg).

Not a huge fan of Indian food, but again, it's because I haven't had the opportunity to dine with those who can answer my questions.

I did dine with an Indian friend, who took me to a Turkish place -- HA! One of the few places (at that time) where he could get vegetarian food. I love Turkish/Mediterranean stuff (mmm! falafels and hummus and tabouleh, oh my!)..... have a friend who makes her own everything (except tabouleh) and she made a feast for us one day! It was deeeevine!

Talk to you soon!