On Thanksgiving Day, downtown Buffalo finally got an Indian restaurant.
Chennai Express is located at 452 Pearl St., across the street from the rear of Shea’s Performing Arts Center. The 40-seat restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. It also offers delivery to downtown Buffalo addresses.
Unlike most of the Indian restaurants in Western New York, Chennai Express focuses on South Indian cuisine, said manager Karthik Nesan.
One specialty is dosas, savory crepes as wide as a cafeteria tray, which are a mainstay of South Indian meals. They’re typically made from rice and lentil flour that are served with spiced potatoes or other fillings, and chutneys for dipping, like coconut and tomato.
Chennai Express lists more than 40 types of dosas on its menu, ranging from $4.95 to $9.95. They include the butter dosa ($5.95), the spicy “gunpowder” masala dosa ($6.95) the cheese masala dosa ($7.50), which tastes like the best part of a toasted cheese sandwich, Indian style.
Dosas are “the best food in the world, and most people like them,” said Nesan. They’re also endlessly customizable. “If you like spinach, I can make it with spinach; if you like mushrooms, I can make it with mushrooms.” The menu also includes varieties with eggs, cheese, and grilled fish or chicken, but most are vegetarian.
Vegan eaters and gluten free people can enjoy them as well, he noted. Many varieties have no meat or dairy products, he said, and there is no wheat in the rice-and-lentil batter, making them gluten-free.
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