Amma Vegetarian Kitchen

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 10 reviews )

344 Maple Ave E, Vienna, Virginia, USA, 22180

Quick service South Indian food with dosa, chole bhatura, uttapatham, and sweets. Uses some dairy. Open Mon-Thu 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-9:30pm, Fri-Sat 11:30am-10:00pm, Sun 11:30am-9:30pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Indian, Fast food, Take-out

10 Reviews

First Review by marija

Best authentic Indian food - Edit

I come here for many years and the rava masala dosa is still my favorite.i also love the idli sambar and mango lassi. The place is small, okay clean but comes with very friendly staff. And I always felt great after eating here. So worth the experience and money. Meet me here next Saturday :)

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South Indian yum - Edit

If you think of this as a step up from a food cart, you'll be very pleased. The menu is a standard south Indian one - many variations of dosas, most of which will fall off the edge of your plate, they are so large. Spicy rasam soup will clear your sinuses, and of course they serve samosas.
Don't come here looking for mattar paneer or Tandoori cooking, this is food from a different region, but so worth it!
The seating area is basic seat yourself - tables and chairs often moved around by the customers to accommodate large groups. We often see large families there, folks bring their small children. There are a couple of high chairs available.
The decor, atmosphere and service are all lacking, but good south Indian cooking is hard to find. Get take out if the appearance doesn't meet your standards, you'll be glad you did!

Pros: Best dosas in the area, Low prices, Take out available

Cons: Not much of an atmosphere, Can get dingy during rush times, Worn-out furniture and fixtures

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Misleading to Vegans - Edit

We were told the first time we went that most of the dosas and uttapam were vegan. The last time we went there, we were told by someone more knowledgeable that any of the pan fried foods are NOT vegan, because even though the dosas themselves don't have nonvegan ingredients they put butter all over the pan, which of course ends up in your food. The samosas and other deep fried things are not very good (although they are vegan), and the rice dishes are ok. But once you find out what's really vegan, it's a VERY limited selection. We will never go again.

Pros: Cheap

Cons: Vegans end up eating nonvegan food here, Bad fried things, Styrafoam plates

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ssluchansky 27 Dec 2013 - I recall going there a couple years ago and being told of their wide use of butter. We just left. It did not seem a vegan-friendly establishment. Of course, just down the road a bit is Sunflower Cafe, which more than makes up for the disappointment.  

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poor service - Edit

Very poor service. The customers are not treated equally. You might be the first person in the queue to place an order, but the staff might take the order of the person next in the queue. The staff need training. They carry out business in a society, yet they do not know how to treat customers equally. They need to understand that customers pay for the food and that is how they run their livelihood. However, the staff are not educated enough to know how to treat customers and lack basic manners. They feel that they are doing a favour to customers. The staff in Amma need serious training and bit of coaching on how to treat customers equally when doing business in a society. Poor mannered staff who lack skills to run a business.

Pros: None, none, none

Cons: Poor Service, Unethical, Lack education and manners

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Teeeerrible experience - Edit

I brought my omni parents here recently after having heard exciting things about this restaurant since I went vegan 9 years ago. My family and I are diehard addicts of places like the Sunflower (Vienna, VA), Busboys and Poets (DC), and so forth, so we decided to finally give Amma's Kitchen a try.

Not worth it; will not be going back. First of all, the cashier had no idea what "vegan" meant. I explained that I was interested in dishes that contained no milk, butter, ghee. The cashier then pointed me to a dish that listed yoghurt as its first ingredient. "This is a good choice," he said. "Yoghurt," I said. "Yes," he said. So I had to explain again. We finally narrowed down our choices and selected chole, tofu dosa, and masala dosa, as well as one paneer dosa for my mother. Two main problems:

1) the paneer and tofu dosas were identical. My mother complained and was told that she it all wrong: the dishes were completely different. She pointed out that they looked and tasted the same, and finally the cashier checked in with the chef, who confessed that he'd made a mistake. 10 minutes later, they said they hadn't begun making the dish, and that it would take another 25 minutes, so they didn't really want to. My mother settled for another masala dosa instead, and they credited our bill the difference between the two dishes (they did NOT scratch the order / payment from our bill).

2) Now, my family can handle a moderate amount of spiciness -- whether it's in Indian, Thai, Chinese, Mexican restaurants, or others. We're familiar with all of these different food types. But the amount of spice in this food was RIDICULOUS. We were careful to *only* order those dishes that did NOT have a "spicy" symbol next to them, and we could barely eat our food. I managed, with lots of water and bread breaks, but my father was completely unable to eat. My mouth burned for about an hour afterward.

The food was not even that great. The spices/herbs were rather bland (and overpowered by the chili peppers or what-have-you), and the visual arrangement was uninspiring. I've had much better-tasting (and -looking) South Indian food in London and at friends' houses.

On top of everything else, there is zero ambiance in the place. Plain black metal tables and chairs in a room devoid of character. An unassuming countertop where patrons order food at the back of the room. That's it. You might as well be at a cafeteria.

And the staff were terribly rude and unhelpful.

Pros: large space

Cons: not vegan-friendly, rude, so spicy!

2 Responses
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lfusfeld 27 Jun 2013 - We found out that the dosas aren't vegan. None of them. They also told us they were initially, but then a different employee told us there's butter in the pans they cook them in. (In case you needed another reason not to return.)  

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MBecker 27 Jun 2013 - Eeek! Thanks for letting us know!  

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not very vegan-friendly - Edit

Stopped in since "vegetarian" is in the name, but was sad to find that dairy is used in almost everything. There were two items on the appetizer menu that were vegan, and two potato dishes on the main menu that were vegan, but that was it. No protein options. Service was quick.

Pros: service was quick, convenient location

Cons: not many vegan options

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great south indian vegetarian food - Edit

great choices of home style south indian vegetarian items on the menu. food is consistent and very good.

the sambar and several other dishes are pretty spicy.

they serve on disposable styrofoam / plastic dishes for dine in and carry out, which is a bit disappointing from an environmental standpoint.

the masala dosa, lemon rice, upma, and idli are excellent.

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not vegan friendly - Edit

Only 3 things on the menu are vegan. They use dairy in most of their dishes. The things that were vegan were all fried and unhealthy.

Cons: too much dairy use

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Amma Vegetarian Kitchen - Edit

Decent place. Not one of my 'favorites', but worth a visit if you are in Vienna and have already been to Sunflower down the road.

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Good Food/Good Deal - Edit

My husband & I visited this restaurant while in the D.C. area. It was a counter order system and they called your orders as things were ready. I felt that the portions were generous-I had a paneer dosa and my husband had a masala dosa. The sauces were included. A great place for veg folks to get a tasty and filling meal.

Pros: good-tasting food, good portions

Cons: slightly unfriendly

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