Rarely do I agree with Atlanta Journal Constitition food reviewers, but Madras Saravaa Bhavan is a real keeper.
We were headed to Udipi about 2:00 PM Saturday afternoon. While en route, I told my wife about this new place, but that I hadn't yet pin-pointed its location. We cruised Lawrenceville Hwy some, and found Madras Saravana Bhavan without too much trouble.
The menu is similar to Udipi, but like the food itself has much more depth.
Samosa appetizers were ok, but with so many other very good and even spectacular dishes, I would not order them again. The idli with nuts and chilis and superior sambar were indeed spectacular, as was the Special Rava Masala Dosai with onions and chili. The vegetable cutlet--rich with carrots and raw cashews was better than very good.
By way of comparison with Udipi, I'd say the food at Udipi is more refined, while the food at Madras Saravan Bhavan is coarser--more home style, with incredible depth of flavor. I'm looking forward to working my way through the menu. By the way, it was quite crowded at 2:30 Sat afternoon. This is one place I won't go near at peak times such as Sat or Sun brunch, or Sat night.
How to get there.
This is actually pretty easy, less than 3 minutes off of I-285 within spitting distance of North Druid Hills Rd and Lawrenceville Hwy:
From I-285 heading south, exit at Stone Mt. Freeway (the next exit after Lawrenceville Hwy) and head WEST--back towards Atlanta. Very quickly the road forks just before ending. Take the right fork, I believe the sign says something like "Valley Brook Road" or North Druid Hills Road, while the other fork--the one you don't want, says Lawrenceville Hwy. Come down the ramp to the traffic light and turn right. Go 1/8 mile to Lawrenceville Hwy and turn right onto Lawrenceville Hwy. Go about 1/8 mile and watch on the right side for the big Cub Foods sign (Cub foods is closed, but the sign is still there--fyi as an additional marker...on the left is the entrance to Publix). Turn right into the strip center.