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Reviews from nymag.com
Posted by Anonymous on 09/18/2011
I have been coming to Saravana/Saravana Bhavan ever since it opened a few years back. The food used to be amazing and fresh, and I would keep going back even though the service was not great, nor the atmosphere (and I live in Washington DC). But yesterday, I went there on a weekend trip to NY and was served microwave idlis. I recognized what it was as soon as I saw it (from the texture of the idlis) and took a bite to confirm. I then asked the server why they were not fresh. He said indignantly that it was not microwaved. When I insisted it was, he brought another waiter who unapologetically and rudely told me that it was indeed reheated in the microwave. He proceeded to tell me that they cannot make fresh idlis every time we order a plate, and that they only make idlis twice a day (once in the morning, once in the evening) and that anytime thereafter we are served microwaved idlis. Not only was the response served rudely, it also did not seem true, because I am very sure every other time I have come to Saravana I have been served fresh idli (and I ALWAYS order idli) or at least not microwaved ones. Anyway, needless to say, I was super disappointed.
Posted by Anonymous on 09/15/2011
The restaurant is very small for the number of tables they have. You cannot move around without dashing on someone. Food is really expensive for the quantity they provide. For very little chillie powder for idly they charge you $1.50 . Not worth it. Food quality is good but not as tasty as the Saravana Bhavan in India.
Posted by Indian on 06/07/2011
This place charges you extra if you ask for some additional coconut chutney (which is an accompaniment to the main dish). This is like having to pay for that additional squeeze of ketchup on your hamburger!
Posted by Sajjad on 05/19/2011
I went with my elderly mother who has difficulty walking or standing. She has a stick and is visibly in pain when standing too long. They made us stand and wait until a table for 2 opened up, even though there were about 5 tables for 4 available. They wouldn't even split up one of the tables for 4 (which are two tables joined together). And were incredibly rude when I kept asking them for this. And throughout the time we were there when we did eventually sit down, those other tables remained empty. So this was totally unnecessary. The food was actually quite good but I won't be going back, as they were rude.
Posted by annonymous on 03/19/2011
I had lunch with my friend and we loved it. Very fresh and good quality. The tables are kinda small to hold the huge dosas, and very close together. The decor is simple, like an Indian canteen look, but it certainly lacks a south Indian flair to it. I had the Mysore dosa and it was good. Idly was light and puffy. All the chutneys were awesome. I would definitely go back. Compared to other restaurants who make south indian dishes, this restaurant surpasses it all. Keep the fresh and good quality theme going, and you will gain good customers. Customer service needs some training for sure.
Posted by happy diners on 01/06/2011
This restaurant is full of happily dining Indians at dinner and all weekend... so it's a real sign that shouts good indian food. Having said that, not everything on the menu is fantastic, we've had a couple of misses and the service is one of the worst in Manhattan.
Posted by santa on 11/15/2010
I used to really like the food at this place, the service was always poor and RUDE, but the food was great, so i kept on going. But now the food matches the awful service. it takes forever to get food, its cold by the time it comes out and half the time the server forgets all or part of your order, and he rarely pretends to even care.