Udipi Cafe - Hillcroft

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 5 reviews )

5959 Hillcroft St (at Hwy 59), Houston, Texas, USA, 77036

Vegetarian Indian restaurant. Open Mon-Sun 11:00am-10:00pm.

Categories: Lacto, Indian, Buffet, Catering

5 Reviews

First Review by Delve

Still Delicious - Edit

I used to go here for lunch semi-regularly with a friend from work, even though it was a long drive from our job. We went as fans of the cuisine and the food was always excellent. Tasty and generally spicy, the way I like it.

It's been 2 or 3 years though and I had the opportunity to go back recently for a lunch buffet. So happy to report it is still delicious and spicy! And although they have doubled the size of their seating area, I don't think the prices went up.

Along with the all-you-can-eat buffet, a waiter will bring you your choice of dosa. There are several varieties to chose from and you can't go wrong with any of them (except I'm not sure if all are vegan?). My favorite is their spring dosa as you get a mouth watering blend of crunchy veggies.

It would be helpful to understand which items in the buffet are traditionally vegan vs. vegetarian, since the vegan ones aren't specifically labeled as such, though I'm sure you could ask. Unfortunately you can't eat everything they offer, but your taste buds will be very happy with what you can.

Decor is mostly plain and functional with the major exception of several large framed prints which are sort of "come hither" or sexually suggestive depictions of life in India. I'll list this as a con, not because I'm a prude but it's a bit tacky and more thought could have been put into this. The overall impression is that the restaurant's a bit on the shabby side, but not chic. Would give Udipi 5 stars if they improved this.

Pros: Very delicious, Spicy, Affordable

Cons: Tacky decor, Vegan items not specifically listed as such, Decor could stand a refresh

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First of all, I'll admit that the vegan friendly selections on the buffet are delicious! I absolutely enjoyed the dosa, fried bread and a green bean dish that they have on their buffet (I don't remember the Indian name for these dishes though). But my initial enjoyment of the food is as far as it goes.

I really regret that I made a second trip to the buffet table to grab a little more of the green bean dish! As I was standing there waiting for someone in front of me to get their helpings of the buffet, a friendly little roach just politely sauntered to the edge of the serving pans of food (but not going in the food itself. I don't think..)

Though I tried to point out the little critter with as much discretion as possible to the apologetic server, mostly everyone in the line saw it! I just went back to my seat empty handed, not able to bring myself to get anything else.

I thought to myself "Okay, self..you're from the hood, it's not like you haven't seen a roach in a kitchen before".. So I talked myself into finishing the little morsels I had left on my plate that I had before. As I was finishing up that food, I picked up my fork only to detect a hair that was slightly thicker than any human hair, more like an antennae. Yikes! a roach antennae! I paid the tab (against my friend's wishes) and walked out never to go in this place again.

To each his own, so if you don't mind a little roach essence in your food, it's worth a try. (shrug)..
Updated from previous review on Thursday October 20, 2011

Pros: good food, cool buffet price, easy to find

Cons: roaches , bottom of dishes are dirty

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Best Dosas ever! - Edit

I have eaten here many times over the last several years and have never been disappointed. The food is served buffet style and has the usual selection of soups, vegetarian dishes, rice and pasta in the southern Indian style. What sets this place apart to me is the wider selection of Dosas (a type of filled crepe) than is normally offered. I love the "Spring Dosa" which is very crispy and jammed with all sorts of crunchy veggies. The coconut chutney and tamarind chutney are really nice with this. They nearly always have at several varieties of desserts. Usually a cold one (rice or pudding) and kheer plus my personal favorite, gulab jamuns (a fried milk dumpling in rose scented syrup.)So it's not a vegan restaurant, but they have vegan dishes on the buffet. Parking directly in front of the restaurant is limited, but there is plenty in the adjacent tract center. It can get crowded in this place on the weekends. This is one of my favorite Indian restaurants, worth the drive from the western 'burbs.

Pros: excellent food, good value

Cons: sometimes crowded

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Very good South Indian food buffet - Edit

This is my favorite Indian buffet place. There are two locations I know of, Sugar Land and the Hillcroft/Little India area of Houston. I have found the food is more my taste in the Sugar Land restaurant, probably due to the cooks there. This is a home-style, Hyderabadi regional food.

Pros: Fresh, hot/spicy, friendly staff

Cons: price has increaed recently

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I'm a Tamarind Chutney Freak - Edit

It's true..I crave tamarind chutney on a daily basis...I actually dream about tamarind chutney. The tamarind chutney here is (8 times out of 10) outta sight! They have a buffet during the week (lunch hours) and on the weekends. I visit this place on a nearly weekly basis. They have a good buffet variety, and there's always a helpful fellow who let's me know which items are vegan safe (I pretty much know which are and aren't now, but he's there to help you if you're a new customer). Their rasam and sambar are spicy and addictive. The dosas are fast becoming my favorite in town (especially the sada mysore). The food tastes fresh and always has a good amount of spiciness. I've eaten Indian food all over town, and in many other cities - they tend to pale in comparison to Udipi. I really like this place and think the drive is worth it. They also sell snacks at the register most are vegan..most are worth it..especially the yellow ball dessert things. They don't have a label on them..so I can't remember the name. I spoke with the owner and he listed all the ingredients in it for me (VEGAN) and when I'm heading out I buy a bag. Oh and the prices..are super goooood - it runs about $8 a person. You get a dosa and as many trips to the buffet as your little stomach can handle.

Pros: Yummy Food/Yellow ball vegan dessert, Fresh/Spicy, Prices good/Staff nice

Cons: Wish they were closer to town, but I make the drive, cause it's worth it.

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