Six years ago, I wrote a post about Vatica, a quaint little Indian vegetarian restaurant nestled in a nondescript strip mall in Marietta. I even created a fan group for the restaurant on Facebook! Today, the restaurant is as busy, if not busier, serving home-style Indian vegetarian food to delighted customers. Vatica is busy in the afternoons, as the hungry office crowd surges in, looking for a homely bite. And they get it at Vatica. The food is simple, unpretentious and a lot like what many Indians eat at home. Saag paneer and chhole are not what we eat on a daily basis unlike what the menus at Indian restaurants might lead one to believe. Dal, sabzi, rotis, yogurt, pickle (the Indian kind, not kosher dill spears!), salad. Simple fare, yes.
Dropped in at Vatica a couple of weeks ago. As always, Dhiru Uncle welcomed me warmly. As I awaited my order of lunch thali, he sat across the table and chatted with me. Uncle is always up for fun and adventure. Constantly hatching new plans and ideas, he is choc-a-full of energy and enthusiasm and good cheer. Soon enough, the thali came to my table.
The food was exactly like I remembered it. The dal was wonderful, hearty and tasting just like home. The vegetables were lightly spiced but a little low on flavor, I thought. The dessert was a delicious ghee-sugar-rice (or tapioca?) concoction. You can ask the server to refill the bowls but I opted not to. It was too late enough in the afternoon to succumb to gluttony! As little as I ate, I felt weighed down, as if I had overeaten. Maybe it was the rice that did it. The lunch thali costs a little over $9, if I remember right. A tad expensive, in my opinion.
Nevertheless, Vatica offers a unique dining experience and I doubt there is any other eatery like it in metro Atlanta. You can pick up a packet of Indian snacks, munch on a healthy date-nut roll (or two), even place an order for an eggless cake! Didn’t I mention that Dhiru Uncle is full of ideas and ingenuity?
Vatica Indian Vegetarian Cuisine
1475 Terrell Mill Rd, Suite 105
Marietta GA 30067