Published: December 25, 2013
8865 Stanford Blvd., #107, Columbia,
Mango Grove is a vegetarian/vegan Indian restaurant located in a typical strip mall in Columbia. What’s not so typical is their Ayurvedic philosophy of light and healthy food, their great view of the lake, calm lighting and music, and doting wait staff. We appreciated all of these even more after a week of tight deadlines. We were seated immediately for the buffet ($11.95, a dollar more on weekends). The entire menu is vegetarian, and about 95 percent of the buffet was vegan. Mango Grove has all the standard things you would expect from an Indian buffet, with the addition of a large fresh fruit-and-vegetable section with produce so delicious that we asked them where they shop. Their samosas and channa chaat were fried in a delicious gram (chickpea) flour batter that crisped up perfectly. The curries were intensely flavored and the vegetables were perfectly cooked. Even the mushrooms retained some of their crispness. Mango Grove certainly shows its love of vegetables in the care the staff takes to not overcook them. The sauces were velvety and hit so many flavor receptors, it felt like our mouths were in the midst of a tango. The complementary assortment of breads not only helped ease the intensity of the heat but, by themselves, could have easily fed a group of people. Mango Grove receives high marks all around, healthy but flavorful, friendly but sophisticated. They’ve struck a perfect balance.
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