Friday, February 23, 2018
News Roundup

Udipi Cafe is a good deal

What I Ate: When you're a vegetarian, you look for any place where you can eat more than one or two items on the menu.

Often I turn to Indian, Thai and Vietnamese restaurants — cuisines that center on vegetables, rice and sauces. So when I learned about Udipi Cafe, an all-vegetarian Indian restaurant, I sought it out.

Though the restaurant offers a full dinner menu, I opted for their lunch buffet, figuring I could sample a variety of their dishes while saving some money.

I chose a number of curries, including the chickpea-centric chana masala, cabbage poriyal and a "chef's special" curry with a heaping helping of coconut rice. Provided as a complimentary side dish was dosai, a crepe-like item filled with potatoes and onions.

What it cost: The lunch buffet cost me only $9.60, not including tip. Many of the items can also be ordered for dinner. A variety of dosai ranging from around $6-$9 are available, while a (presumably larger) chana masala meal goes for $9.45.

What I thought: Udipi Cafe is located in a N Dale Mabry strip mall next to Tampa Pitcher Show and Prime Time Sports Grill, which may not scream international flavor. But it is also near Benjarong Thai, which has long been one of my parents' favorite places to eat. And shortly after I sat down, a woman leaving declared it her favorite restaurant in Tampa.

If I can't quite back that pronouncement, I'm still happy to have found another solid Indian restaurant in the area. It's also a good addition to lists of local lunch specials, offering plentiful portions for under $10.

The cabbage poriyal was a winner, providing a striking, tangy taste. So was the chana masala, though it would be hard to mess up such an Indian staple. In fact, the chef's special probably stood out the least of the curries that I tried.

Tampa Bay vegetarians should check out Udipi Cafe. And even if you're a meat-eater more likely to tear into some butter chicken, chances are you'll find something to like here as well.

Jimmy Geurts, Times staff writer

Comments
Winter Olympics: Alina Zagitova wins figure skating gold, Russia’s first of Games

Winter Olympics: Alina Zagitova wins figure skating gold, Russia’s first of Games

GANGNEUNG, South Korea  — The Russians finally have a gold medal at the  Olympics, thanks to a 15-year-old who beat the fellow teen who inspired her to become a figure skater.Alina Zagitova won one of the Games' spotlight events Frida...
Updated: 5 hours ago
The Daystarter: These 80 degree days are here to stay; schools contend with threats; legal lion Barry Cohen closes shop after cancer return

The Daystarter: These 80 degree days are here to stay; schools contend with threats; legal lion Barry Cohen closes shop after cancer return

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.The 80s are here to stay, according to 10Weather WTSP. Weekend temperatures cool only slightly, to the low to mid 80s, with a low rain chance. Next week is just more of the sam...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Legal lion Barry Cohen reveals leukemia and tells how it has changed his priorities

Legal lion Barry Cohen reveals leukemia and tells how it has changed his priorities

TAMPA — Time was, if you were in deep trouble, you turned to Barry Cohen.He kept Jennifer Porter out of jail even after her hit-and-run accident left two children dead. He got charges against Steven and Marlene Aisenberg dropped and won them $3 milli...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Epilogue: Lee Davis, businessman and adventurer, survived many a scrape

Epilogue: Lee Davis, businessman and adventurer, survived many a scrape

TAMPA — Friends and family have a saying about Lee Thornton Davis Jr. Once you met him, even for just a moment, you knew him forever."He was the most outgoing person I’d ever met," Dick Greco said.That’s something coming from Tampa’s gregarious, 84-y...
Published: 02/23/18
Iraqi general who helped defeat ISIS returns to Tampa for commando award

Iraqi general who helped defeat ISIS returns to Tampa for commando award

PALM HARBOR — Four years ago, during a visit to Tampa, Iraqi Staff Gen. Talib Shgati Mshari Al Kenani issued a warning to military leaders here about a jihadi group calling itself the Islamic State.This week, Al Kenani, head of the Iraqi commando for...
Published: 02/23/18
It’s

It’s "Krunch" time for East Lake students

On a recent Saturday, students arrived at a Pasco County high school for an all-day scrimmage.The gym was covered in black, plastic tarps, with a course down the middle. Six teams came ready to race their robots, including one from East Lake High Sch...
Published: 02/23/18
A look at new ships and trends in cruising for 2018

A look at new ships and trends in cruising for 2018

What’s new in cruising for 2018? As usual, there’s lots of razzle-dazzle — laser tag, water slides, zip lines and massive LED screens — along with a continued emphasis on healthy lifestyle options, from dining to fitness. But there are also changes u...
Published: 02/23/18

Long awaited Clearwater Beach garage bleeds money in its first year

CLEARWATER —City leaders discussed building a parking structure on north Clearwater Beach for more than 15 years before the seven-story Pelican Walk Parking Garage finally opened at the start of 2017.The city paid $11.3 million to own 450 of the deve...
Published: 02/23/18

High school scoreboard for Feb. 22

Thursday’s scoreboardSoftballBoca Ciega 4, Pinellas Park 2Admiral Farragut 7, Northside Christian 1Boys tennisOsceola 7, Dixie Hollins 0Clearwater Central Cath. 4, Jesuit 3Girls tennisOsceola 7, Dixie Hollins 0Boys basketballClass 3A, region semifina...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Deputy ‘never went in’ during Parkland school shooting. There were other failures, too

Deputy ‘never went in’ during Parkland school shooting. There were other failures, too

Eight days after mass shooter Nikolas Cruz murdered 17 people inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Broward’s top cop on Thursday revealed a stunning series of failures by the sheriff’s department.A school campus cop heard the gunfire, rushed ...
Updated: 7 hours ago