South Indian restaurant pops up in downtown Reno
These food and drink establishments are planned to open in late 2017 or early 2018. Johnathan L. Wright
On West Street, it's South Indian.
Maya's South Indian Cuisine, a pop-up restaurant serving lunch four days a week, debuted Nov. 30 in West Street Market in downtown Reno. The lunch menu of five dishes (plus kombucha) is offered Thursday through Sunday, in the same storefront space that houses Thali Indian restaurant on Thursday through Sunday evenings.
MAYA'S SOUTH INDIAN CUISINE
Address: 148 West St., in West Street Market
Hours: Lunch service, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday through Sunday
Anitha Pagidi of Reno, a native of South India and a talented home cook, opened Maya's, named for her infant daughter.
"Cooking is my passion -- I just wanted to take it to the next level," Pagidi said. "The menu is small but very authentic. They are all family recipes -- it's how I used to do it back in India."
Maya's South Indian Cuisine recently began serving lunch four days a week from a storefront space in West Street Market. Johnathan L. Wright/RGJ
On opening day, a friend and I drop by and order one of everything on the menu (except kombucha; I'm not usually in the mood for kombucha). The dishes are variously gluten-free, vegan and organic. Prices run $5.99-6.99
South Indian-style dosas -- rice and lentil crêpes -- arrive in plain and onion-potato versions. Compartments in the gleaming cafeteria-type tray hold tomato chutney, coconut chutney spiked with tamarind, and a thin sweet corn soup.
The chutneys, the soup, and a sambhar vegetarian stew accompany three other dishes on the menu.
Medhu vada, the South Indian fritters made from black gram beans, are crisp and golden on the outside, puffy within. Idli are another South Indian staple. These spongy cakes are formed from fermented lentil batter, then steamed.
Like the medhu vada fritters, idli are often eaten for breakfast. At Maya's, the idli are served as larger cakes or as smaller cakes soaking up sambhar stew.
To finish lunch, we tuck into a classic South Indian pairing: potato masala curry and the deep-fried flatbread called poori. Maya's poori are made with wheat flour but are unleavened. They are mightily addictive; we could have eaten stacks of them.
Johnathan L. Wright is the food and drink editor of RGJ Media. Join @RGJTaste on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You also can subscribe here to The Reno Taste, a free food and drink newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox.