We briefly posted about Green Leaf (4215-1 University Dr.) when it had been open for two days. It looked promising then, and now it seems pretty safe to say that Durham has finally found its own delicious South Indian food. (Not that it’s a competition, but take that Cary and Morrisville! All in good fun, I love Udupi and Tower to death.)
Green Leaf doesn’t only serve South Indian cuisine–they have some of the more traditional Northern Indian dishes and, though we haven’t tried them, some Indo-chinese dishes as well. One great thing about their wide range is that they have meat on the menu (not an option at the other South Indian places in the Triangle). Check out this extremely awesome comment on our previous post for a breakdown of their buffets.
We ordered too much food, as usual, and had to eat almost all of it. We started with some pakora–when we’d had the buffet a couple weeks ago the cabbage pakora was wonderful, so we wanted some more of that fried chickpea flour goodness. We went for the hot chili pakora ($4.95), which was not quite as spicy as the waiter warned us it would be, and also had a thicker, softer dough than the cabbage pakora had. I think I slightly preferred the cabbage, but these pakoras were also great.
Then we tried the cheese naan ($2.50)–the cheese was an unexciting addition, but the naan itself was pretty ideally pillowy. Also unsurprisingly delicious was the Mango Lassi ($2.50)–they also offered Sweet and Salt lassi varieties.
Though we were full already, we had no problem tearing into the two entrees we got, at the waiter’s suggestion, from the Green Leaf Specialties section of the menu. First was the non-veg kal dosa ($9.95) which came with a curry of the chef’s choice (today it was chicken). That was some delicious curry. The chicken was incredibly tender and the sauce was a perfect blend of sweet and spicy–the heat was definitely not overwhelming, but I could feel it getting to me (in a good way) by the time I had eaten my share.
Next was the “Five different types cocktail uthappam with garbanzo curry” ($13.95). This meant five kinds of uthappam (thick pancake-like things) of the chef’s choice, served with sambar and another amazing curry (this one slightly less spicy than the chicken curry). I couldn’t tell you what all of the uthappam types were, but one was slightly sweet, with nuts and raisins; one was spicy, with jalapenos and crispy onions; and one had peas and deliciously spiced potatoes. They ranged from good to great, but the curry was the best part for me.
This place is amazing. The owners/waiters (I think they are the same people right now) are incredibly friendly and ambitious about their restaurant. They said that business has doubled from the first week to the second, but it was still fairly empty today. I pray (to the Green Leaf God) that they succeed!Green Leaf 4215-1 University Dr. 919-493-0033 M-F 11:30-2:30, 5:30-9:30 Sat-Sun 12-3, 5:30-9:30