Woodlands-Indian-Cuisine-food7128-A Albemarle Road

Owners: Leslie and Agnes Lobo
Woodlands on Facebook

Woodlands has earned its well-deserved reputation as the place in Charlotte to go for delicious, authentic vegetarian Indian food.

As Americans strive to eat healthier, we can learn a lot from natives of the East. At Woodlands Pure Vegetarian Indian Cuisine, where South Indian culture has inspired the menu, you’ll do quite well without meat. And freshness is the order of the day.

“Everything here is fresh. Nothing is made from frozen [ingredients],” said Leslie Lobo, who owns the east Charlotte restaurant with his wife Agnes.

Woodlands has developed a reputation for serving some of the most authentic Indian food in Charlotte, which is why people drive from all over town—from parts of South Carolina to north of Huntersville, Lobo said.

They indulge in appetizers like the samosa (fried potatoes, onions, and peas) and entrees like the masala dosa (a large rice crepe filled with vegetables). Variations of paneer (a vegetable and cheese curry) are also popular among customers, and the desserts, which aren’t as rich as many people are used to, like the badam halwa (ground almonds cooked in honey and butter) can be an interesting jolt to the palate. Woodlands won the Best Appetizer award at the 2012 Taste of Charlotte for their masala dosa, and was awarded Most Unique Taste at the 2013 event. But there are still plenty of people who are pleasantly surprised when they stumble upon the restaurant that’s tucked away in a nondescript building. Taste of The World, which Woodlands has participated in each year since its inception, has exposed its offerings to many first-timers.

“We’ve done it every year. I like the concept, and it’s helpful for me and my community. We get new customers who have never had my food. They like my food and my price point,” said Lobo, who’s originally from Bombay, India (now known as Mumbai).

The restaurant is open every day for lunch and dinner, and if you want to experience a large sampling of the flavorful (some very spicy) dishes, you’ll want to visit during the lunch buffet, which is only offered on Saturdays and Sundays, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

– Profile written by Jarvis Holliday