Sapthagiri NJ Breakfast Review – Dirty Plates, Dirty Glasses, Nice Food

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If you see a reduction in number of blog posts on SI or a delay in processing your comments, blame it on the dirty swines at Sapthagiri restaurant in Jersey City in New Jersey.

Dirty plates, dirty coffee glasses.

Sick f*cks.

If we fall sick, you know who is responsible.


Folks, if you can stomach lots of dirty eating plates and dirty coffee glases, your stomach will love the weekend breakfast buffet at Sapthagiri on Newark Ave in Jersey City.

We’re still at the restaurant gorging on Rava Kesari dessert.

Full review coming later today.


Revisiting Sapthagiri
It had been over 18 months since we last visited Sapthagiri and we thought it time to check in again on the food there.

Another reason whetting our appetite was news of the weekend South Indian breakfast buffet ($6.49) at the restaurant.

When we walked in this morning, there were already 8 or 9 desis digging into their Idli, Medhu Vada and Pongal with gusto.

A good sign because while it’s easy to pull the wool over Americans when it comes to Indian food it’s harder to fool the desis.

No Dosas at Sapthagiri Buffet
A lot of Indian restaurants in the U.S. serve hot Dosas directly to the table as part of the buffets.

But not Sapthagiri.

No Dosas in this South Indian breakfast buffet.

So if Dosa is what sends you into a drooling fit, then you’re bound to be disappointed with Sapthagiri’s breakfast buffet.

But there are other compensations by way of Masala Idli, Kanchipuram Idli, Plain Idli, Pongal, Medhu Vada, Poori and Alu Sagu.

The thick Masala Idlis and Kanchipuram Idlis were fine and gave no room for complaint.

There were several varieties of Chutney – Ginger, Tomato, Peanut and Coconut. They were all flavorful although we’d have liked our Chutneys a tad spicier.

Mulagai Podi (Kara Podi) kept in a bowl near the Chutneys turned out to be a nice accompaniment to the Idlis but there was no oil to go with the Podi.

Medhu Vadas were too small, not the regular-sized ones. But since it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet, who’s complaining. The Vadas were crisp, uniformly cooked inside and tasty.

The regular Idlis came as we were finishing. They are not in the Saravanaa Bhavan class but good enough.

The medium-thick drumstick-pumpkin Sambar was a bit of a disappointment since it was not spicy enough by Indian standards.

Time for Pongal
Venn Pongal is a favorite South Indian item.

Like flies to a light, we’re drawn to it.

Sapthagiri’s Pongal was thick and seasoned with curry leaves. While it was tasty, we wouldn’t put it in the extraordinary category. A little more pepper might have done the trick.

Poori Time Now
Our buffet included Pooris and Alu Sagu.

The small Pooris and the delicious Alu Sagu were yummy. No room for complaint (by this time, there was no room in our cavernous stomach as well).

Just One Dessert
For desserts, there was just one item – Rava Kesari.

Neither too sweet nor too oily, Sapthagiri’s Rava Kesari with cut almond pieces sprinkled on top were so nice that we had two helpings. Really.

We wouldn’t put any of the items in the excellent category but for the most part we got decent food.

Poor Hygiene
But what got our goat was the lack of attention to basic hygiene.

During visits to the buffet table, we couldn’t help but notice the small eating plates kept for diners were dirty.

Several of the steel plates had what seemed like food particles sticking to them suggesting gross carelessness in cleaning them.

We don’t know about you but when we go to a restaurant we’re not keen on sampling the leftovers of the previous diner.

Most likely the employees noticed us looking at the dirty plates because after we sat down one of the staff (the dark-skinned, white-shirt wearing fellow with the goatee-like beard or was it the ‘Rap Industry Standard’ beard) went over to the buffet table and after checking the plates removed a whole bunch of them.

WTF was the baboon doing earlier? Jerking off? Shouldn’t he have checked that the dining plates were clean. Seems like a must-do for us but obviously not for the Sapthagiri clowns.

The steel coffee glasses had a dark brown stain at the bottom and on the sides.

WTF is the restaurant doing? Just counting the dollars?

Besides the inattention to hygiene, service has slipped considerably at Sapthagiri since our last visit.

There were no glasses – not even a single one – near the Coffee/Tea flasks.

And although the sullen-faced, bald clown looked at us waiting for a coffee glass, the moron did not move his ass until we expressly asked him about the lack of any glasses.

The same sullen clown did not clear our finished plates promptly.

By the way, if you cannot smile at customers you ought not to be in the restaurant/hospitality business.

Also, the poor service (dirty plates, dirty coffee glasses, not removing the finished plates promptly et al) suggestΒ  a certain cockiness in the attitude of the Sapthagiri staff that we didn’t see during our earlier visit.

Pride, as they say, always cometh before the fall. πŸ™

Although we had no serious complaints with the food (except maybe for the Chutneys and Sambar not being spicy enough), it’ll be a while before we step into Sapthagiri again considering the restaurant’s callous indifference to basic cleanliness.

Not being offered clean dining plates and clean coffee glasses rank extremely high on our list of irritations when we eat out.

Related Stories:
Sapthagiri – Mona Lisa of Masala Dosas in New Jersey

4 Responses to "Sapthagiri NJ Breakfast Review – Dirty Plates, Dirty Glasses, Nice Food"

  1. shadowfax_arbit   May 1, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    OT: Have you heard this song? Responds:

    Just listened…nice one.

  2. kd36939   May 3, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    $6.50 is a good deal i guess! a lousy small bacon sandwich is sold for $4 in my university. Responds:

    1. You write: $6.50 is a good deal

    Well, remember the $6.50 breakfast at Sapthagiri includes the leftovers of the previous guy’s meal on your plate.

    Maybe, some food particle got stuck in the previous diner’s teeth and he shoved his fingers to extract it and then dropped it on the plate. Or even worse. For instance, one of our desi friends has eczema on his arms. The flakes keep dropping off.

    Sure, there could be people who enjoy feasting on such shit. πŸ™

    2. The only desi we’re aware of who loves Bacon is the recent mom Padma Lakshmi.

  3. kd36939   May 4, 2010 at 10:21 am

    “…….. friends has eczema on his arms. The flakes keep dropping off.”

    uaaaaaaaaaaaah. how gross!

    i enjoy the smell of fried bacon. n nothing more filling than bacon n eggs. do u like beef jerky? there is one particular flavor which tastes close to our uppukandam that we make back home. saddest thing is i forgot what flavor was that. i bought it in some gas station in nebraska πŸ™ Responds:

    You Write Above: do u like beef jerky?

    Only the noun, not the adjective. πŸ˜‰

  4. chennaiarun2007   May 23, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Hi SI,

    Sometimes people have some weird perceptions that it becomes so difficult to get over it easily.Many a times I have been a victim of my own perceptions.My lifetime desire was to eat Punjabi food at a Punjabi Dhaba.As you might have known,there are many roadside Dhaba shops in the highways of Chennai.But I had some doubts over the quality of Punjabi food and whether they serve only vegetarian food.My father allayed my fears saying that it was vegetarian food only and that they are very spicy.

    When I first went to a Dhaba near Anna Salai,I tried something new.I ordered Alu Naan(Vegetable Naan) and some Cauliflower gravy.I liked Alu naan but not the gravy as raw cauliflower was used(it was not even cooked,served as it is to me).My mother then told me that eating vegetables raw is not good for health.Then I ordered a LASSI.

    I came back to the same hotel the second time,and this time I played it safe.I had Butter Naan and matar paneer(green peas).The matar paneer was decent and it was well cooked.The same server asked me again if you like gravy.Forgetting the horrible experience last time,I said yes and then suddenly, I told him to cancel it.Then afterward, I ordered matar paneer.I enjoyed it.

    The problem with Punjabi dhabas is that if you are a South Indian,you will not like the extra spice.South Indian foods has less spice compared to Punjabi foods.But if you want to enjoy a different eating experience you can eat at a Dhaba.But even though you may not wish to drink a Lassi,you are forced to drink it at the end of the course because of the spice factor. Lastly,you need to have some more dough if you want to enjoy Punjabi food as South Indian foods are comparatively a bit cheaper.

    How are the food rates there?Is it the same as it is in India or is it much higher?

    Arrun Responds:

    Back when we used to live in India, we ‘ve had food several times at Punjabi Dhabas by the sides of NH-4, NH-7. NH-13 and NH-48.

    Would sit on those rope cots near the lorries, eat Nan bread with spicy curry and wash it down with some hot tea. Nostalgic over the old days….

    Food here (in the U.S.) on the highways is bland, the same old Roy Rogers, Burger King, Cinnabon, Nathan’s, Pizza Hut, Starbucks et al.

    When it comes to food, you can’t beat the embarras de richesse in India.

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