While in Corvallis, one of our hosts took us to her favorite Indian restaurant (also the only Indian restaurant in town), and it was excellent.
There was a huge emphasis on vegetarian dishes on the menu, and the three of us ate vegetarian. We each ordered a different vegetarian entree Thali style, which, in addition to the main dish, included a wide plate of rice and 5 little metal bowls each full of a different delicious vegetarian Indian specialty.
Our dinner started with a big plate of papadums, the crispy, savory crackers typically made from the flour of legumes and rice. They came with three delicious sauces, one of which was cilantro based, another tomato based, and the third, coconut based.
After we finished the papadum, the very nice and attentive waiter came and replaced the plate with a basket filled with piping hot, buttery naan covered in the delicious charred blisters that come from cooking in a hot hot oven.
I ordered the Lentils cooked with tomatoes with onions, and my little bowls included a lentil soup, some creamy spinach with paneer, curried chickpeas, a dish with cauliflower and potatoes, and a cool yogurt sauce with cucumbers. The others ordered variations on this, and their little bowls rotated around the menu accordingly.
It was extremely delicious. Not too salty, not too heavy, but full of flavour and just enough spice.
Dessert was also included with our Thali meals, and we ordered mango/cardamom/almond ice cream and gulab jamun, the warm little egg shaped doughnuts that come to the table floating in a bath of hot, honey sweetened ghee.
The ambiance was relaxing and quiet and the space was made beautiful with Indian art and decorations. The server was really pleasant and attentive, always coming by to refill a water glass or offer more rice (he even went out on a limb and brought me a new plate of rice, after I had devoured mine but declined any more).
I can see why our Corvallis hosts love this place!
Evergreen Indian Restaurant
136 SW 3rd St
Corvallis, Oregon 97333