Chennai is home to people all over from South India. A large number of people from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala have migrated and settled here. Multiple people with different regions brought their cuisines along with them. One such cuisine is Andhra cuisine which is cherished by every Tamilian.
If you are craving for hot and spicy vegetarian meals,then this 67 year old fashioned Andhra hotel is the perfect place to tickle your taste buds for sure..
Here are 10 reasons why many citizens of Chennai have liked this old restaurant.
1) Did you know that?
This hotel was established in 1952. Back then, the price of full meals was just 25paise. Today, it has been run by two brothers Deepak and Dwarak – the 3rd generation members of the same family. Deepak is proud that this is the only hotel in George town area withstanding since 68years in spite of many difficulties like water scarcity, manpower shortage etc.
2) What makes it awesome?
Here the meals are slowly cooked in a traditional way of using firewood, which not only imparts the aroma but also serves as a healthy option.The dining experience or the menu or the interior hasn’t changed a lot since the 1950s and that’s the reason the National lodge keeps adding new patrons every day.
The hoarding of this place reads “The National lodge” this mess nestled in Govindappa Naicken Street near Parry’s corner which is Chennai’s oldest wholesale market for everything ranging from fabrics to stationaries. Apart from this eatery, this street is also famous for electrical goods and dry fruits. One can have a slow stroll after a heavy meal at this place.
4) How to get in?
This street is usually crowded, one can continuously hear the cacophony made by two-wheelers, auto-rickshaws and people walking in the street. So, the best way to reach the hotel is to walk or take a two-wheeler.
5) Great for?
This hotel is very famous for its unlimited Vegetarian Andhra meals that start from 11am-3.30pm. Apart from this, one can also find tiffin items at a very reasonable rate from 7pm-10pm. One has to reach early to avoid crowds. Parcel option is also available.
6) The Hotel Experience.
This small hotel is located on the first floor of a 100 year building with a dining capacity of fewer than 90 people, including both A/C and Non-A/C sections. The scene of an old gentleman at the cash counter collecting money in the wooden case, the traditional way of serving food in banana leaves and single-seater wooden dining tables reminds us of the good old days
Apart from this, waiters are uniformly dressed in a white shirt and white dhoti with sleeves rolled up will also impress you.
7) What’s the menu?
Each meal consists of Sambar, Rasam, Kara Kuzhumbu, More Kulambu (thick curd gravy), Daal and Chutney which is accompanied by Paruppu Podi, Ghee, Appalam, Salt chilly, Spicy mango/lemon pickle. Buttermilk or thick curd is savoured towards the end of the meal since it aids digestion thereby making a perfect way to finish any meals.
8) Tiffin Items
Davangere Benne Dosa – These Dosas are crisply drenched in butter which is served piping hot with chutney and it is complemented with aloo masala is another winner in this hotel.
Soft Idli topped with Molaga Podi and spoonful of ghee, Hot Pongal made with cashews, crispy Vada with Garlic Podi are some of the top-notch varieties.
9) Must try
This hotel is famous for its signature dish – Paruppu Podi (Gun Powder) often called “National Lodge Podi” followed by extra ghee is what the patrons would die for. Deepak is proud to say that this hotel still uses his grandmother’s recipe and grandfathers menu for consistency to be maintained. Dal powder is also sold in packets if one wish to take away from this restaurant.
10) The Pricing
National Lodge is the perfect place to satisfy your cravings for Andhra Food.
The price is pretty reasonable for the quality and unlimited quantity of meals.
Non-A/C – Rs 110
A/C – Rs 140
Parcel – Rs 250
Whether you are new to Chennai or living in Chennai, or you miss home-cooked food, then this is a must-visit food destination for you. So stop reading this article, get ready, take your two-wheeler and drive yourself to Andhra Mess.