South Indian Dosa Mahal
South Indian Dosa Mahal is known for their reasonably priced vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free eats.
This space was formerly home to a location of Maiz, and has retained many of the touched of a cantina-style restaurant with mason jar light fixtures and bold tile.
The main addition here is a sight familiar to Dosa fans: a case filled with samosas and pakora.
At $5.99 to mix and match 10 pieces of samosa, pakora and/or vadai, these small snacks are one of the best deals here.
Pakoras made with chickpea flour are light, fluffy and inimitable, and samosas are crusty and packed with veggies. Both are best dipped in a sweet coconut chutney ($1.50).
Popular gluten-free soups include rasam ($5.50), a quite spicy tamarind and tomato soup that has a surprising rich sweetness.
Spinach lentil soup ($5.50) is legendary, chunky and loaded with whole spices.
Everything here is made from scratch by hand, including nominal dosa: a thin and buttery fermented rice and dhal flatbread cooked using vegan ghee made with soy.
Dosa are served homestyle here, as opposed to what I'm told is commercial style, where everything is stuffed inside. Here the dosa are served along with a typical array of accompaniments meant to be dipped into.
An exception to the rule is a mysore pizza masala dosa ($12.99), a specialty here where a dosa is spread with a spicy mysore sauce with cumin, coriander and chili powder, then cooked with tomato, onion, coriander, green chili and cheese.
Vegan cheese can be subbed in for $2.50.
Served with sambar, chutney and potato masala, the result is a crispy, tangy flatbread stuffed with stretchy cheese and lots of flavourful fillings that feel a little like a veggie pizza.
The more typical option is a dosa platter ($9.99): your choice of dosa served with the veggie curry of the day, eggplant tomato curry, potato masala curry, sambar and coconut chutney.
Sambar is basically a stew of potato and lentil that's chunky, thick and mildly spiced—comforting and addictive.
Eggplant tomato curry and and potato masala curry are plated together so they blend into a soft mash that's starchy, sweet and warmly spiced. Rotating veggies include green bean lentil and a sweet potato coconut.
Thali platters are priced the same and equally popular, served with the same accompaniments but centring around an option of white rice and paratha, biryani, paratha or idly.
Biryani is also homestyle, the accompaniments meant to be piled onto the rice rather cooked into it.
Run by the Logan family for three generations, this location was opened up after a landlord dispute forced them out of a Bloor and Lansdowne spot.