Restaurant Review: Dosa Corner

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Put the Tupperware down and back away from that drumstick.

Seriously, after a few skyscraping platefuls of Thanksgiving dinner and leftovers, you're basically eating more just out of momentum, aren't you? Besides, let's face it, though the famously teetering Turkey Day feast is a grand all-American tradition, most of that food is really pretty bland.

Which is why this week I'm writing about a place with flavors potent enough to reawaken drowsy tastebuds fatigued by rivers of one-note gravy, mountains of monotonous stuffing, that whole spice-rack-neglected, Puritan-approved spread.

The restaurant in question, Dosa Corner, is a great non-cliche Indian joint. But it's not only ideal for a nibble of something completely different after the November poultry onslaught. It's also perfectly suited for meals during the entire (and suddenly crashing down on us) holiday season.

That's because Dosa Corner makes rousing, lip-tingling, all-vegetarian Southern Indian chow and is geared to fill damn cheap to-go orders for wallet-weary shoppers and tired, multitasking seasonal revelers.

This is not to say the dinky place is completely without "eat-in" charm. Of its two humble dining rooms, the first stands out for its many helpful color pictures of its delicious food. The second room - which I prefer - is decorated with kooky photos of furniture, statues of Indian gods, geometric fabric artworks and tapestries of Indian women. Throughout, interesting Indian music plays that ranges from droney ragas to a Subcontinent version of the "Macarena."

Dosa Corner's menu isn't loaded with all those predictable dishes like Tandoori Chicken and Lamb Vindaloo. No, instead, it features more esoteric things like uthappam and bisibelabath. To reduce confusion with this less-than-usual fare and/or to sample a variety of goodies, try one of its three combos.

From these, the Dosa Thali ($11) is a great call. Its metal tray (i.e. thali) comes arranged with the following: a couple wadas - dense and crunch-tastic savory donuts made with a hearty lentil batter and often powered by jalapeno and cilantro; Idli - a soft, semi-spongy and tart steamed rice and lentil dumpling best eaten dunked in sambar (like textured and spicy vegetable soup); plus either a dosa or uthappam and dessert.

For your dosa, I suggest you request the beyond excellent (if not so excellent sounding in English) Mysore Masala Dosa ($7). Approximately the size of the Sunday newspaper, it's basically a gigantic crepe with an attractively brittle shell encasing an explosion of flavors fueled by curried potatoes and detonated by a zesty tomato sauce. The beautiful belly bomb also has a preternatural ability to retain its tooth-friendly crispness.

Dosa Corner's uthappams are like something between an immense pancake and a pizza. My favorite is the "all the way" style Vegetable Supreme ($7). That one's top comes plastered with a flattened and pan-crisped panoply of toasted veggies and chilis. Awesome.

Currywise (all about $7), I favor uncommon offerings like the tangy and coconut-milk-creamy mixed veggie Avial and the nuanced and chock-full of chickpeas Chole Poori. The latter is served with three pieces of killer, puffy-tortilla-like fried whole wheat bread.

Oh yeah, and you gotta try the ridiculously delicious Bisibelabath ($7). It's a sort of powerhouse, veggie-strewn, thick rice porridge with complex, nutty, buttery and spicy tomato flavors.

From unexpected wonders like that to wonderful takes on expected dishes (like a dense and terrific Gulab Jamun for dessert), the tiny but mighty Dosa Corner scores high for the holidays - or, heck, anytime.

For more local food news and reviews, click to G.A. Benton's blog at

Dosa Corner

1077 Old Henderson Rd., Upper Arlington