Looking to save money in the new year? I’ve found one of the best meal deals in NoVA. At $6.99, I assumed that the S2B Combo at Sai Saravana Bhavan would be appetizer size. But the four-dish lunch left me stuffed. When the website says that the takeout and delivery-only restaurant inside Herndon’s Lotte Plaza offers “economic” vegetarian food, they mean it.
The menu at S2B is extensive, with sections devoted to dosas, dishes from India’s Cauvery and Godavari coasts and Singapore, as well as onion and garlic-free Sattvic cuisine, just to name a few. It seemed only natural to taste their wares with a combination of several specialties.
Like much of my favorite South Indian food, the S2B Combo is essentially a collection of starches with numerous spicy things in which to dip them. The highlight of the former category is the ney pongal, a thick and savory rice-and-lentil pudding rich with ghee. It’s accompanied by a pleasantly oily medu vada and a single puffy idli. The sambar and chutneys on the side don’t have quite the kick I was hoping for, but they still give each dip a unique character, whether it’s coconut or creamy tomato.
I had just enough room for dessert, a warm, buttery beetroot kesari. The small but mighty serving of dense pudding left me feeling satisfied, but ready to order it again one day. When I do, I certainly won’t be breaking the bank. // 490 Elden St., Herndon
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