Udupi Cafe

Why do we go to Indian restaurants? Because they know how to make things that would take us years, and possibly even decades, to figure out on our own. For heaven's sake, have you seen the paper dosa at Udupi? The thing looks like an ear trumpet for Paul Bunyan. How do they get that thin crepe to be the size of an end table? How do they get it to stand up that way? How can they afford to sell it for mere dollars, when it should costs thousands and be under guard at a museum? These are the questions we ask ourselves at Minnesota's most surprising Indian restaurant, a vegetarian wonderland that turns chickpeas and curry into carnivals and fireworks. Check out the cornucopia of the weekend lunch buffet ($10.99) if you don't believe us: Here crepes are spun into pinwheels, grains are steamed with cinnamon sticks and cardamom until they smell like the road to nirvana, and potatoes are enhanced with so many toasty spices and sprightly vegetables that they practically dance. Bashful but helpful service and a useful beer and wine list round out the experience. Actually, now that we think about it, the question shouldn't be why do we go to Indian restaurants, but why do we ever leave?