Friday, May 8, 2015

Signs? We Don't Need No Stinking Signs! Not When Ananda's Food Fills The Tables All Week

Ananda -- So you'll recognize it without a sign
I loved the food from the beginning, but for some reason, I now love Ananda's attitude as well.

The Indian restaurant opened in Fulton last year to terrific reviews.  Like a national magazine's list of the 25 most outstanding restaurants of 2015.  We have loved it from the beginning...

But Ananda's spot is unusual.

Duck dumplings
It's great for me.  It's the closest restaurant to my house.  But Ananda sits on Maple Lawn Boulevard out of sight from the main roads.  And it has no sign.  A striking open-windowed dining room in good weather, but no sign.

We always figured they were waiting on a sign delivery.  But then Mrs. HowChow asked owner Binda Singh this week, and Singh told her there won't be a sign.

He doesn't believe in them.

The Ambassador in Baltimore doesn't have a sign, he said.  And he doesn't think Ananda needs one either.

Now, I have to admit that I'm friendly with Singh.  I don't out myself normally in restaurants, but Singh is super-friendly and knew from emails that we were coming on his opening day.  It was a thin crowd.  So we said hello, and we have enjoyed ourselves ever since.  (Well, except for Lil' Chow's first nice restaurant meal when we tried to take him there at 6:30 on the Sunday daylight savings ended.  He was exhausted! That's another story.)

Singh doesn't believe in signs.

Citrus salad
Somehow, I love this.  It feels like a bad-ass rejection of the way most retail runs.  And it's working.  The place was packed on Tuesday when Mrs. HowChow took some students for dinner.  We're going back for Mother's Day.  We'll do dinner, but I heartily recommend the brunch.  One of the "lost" meals from my three months with few posts was a terrific March brunch with the Cordis Couple where I ate the perfect dumplings.

Those dumplings are pictured above.  My notes just say "duck, dumpling, chili sauce, sesame seeds, four, M."  I must have thought that I'd blog that afternoon. Some toddler madness must have gotten in the way.

Seriously, check out the Ananda menus if you haven't been yet.  Mother's Day looks like a buffet brunch.  That French toast casserole merits a visit all on its own.  Just keep your eyes peeled as your heading to eat -- because they're not putting up a sign.

You can see all my posts about Ananda.  You should also check out Jennifer Waldera's HerMind Magazine profile of the Kaur sisters, including Kinday Kaur who is the chef at Ananda.  Her sister is the chef at the "sister" restaurant The Ambassador in Baltimore.


brandon said...

It's been done before :)

EastCoastMatt said...

Should've opened in Columbia, where you can't find anything because of the no signage ordinances.

HowChow said...

Matt -- I know what you mean. It does contradict my normal complaint that Columbia handicaps restaurants because people can't see them from the road. Drivers wouldn't notice Ananda. But people find their way there!

Anonymous said...

Amazingly, this restaurant does not seem to have an entry in Urbanspoon! Regardless, I'll make a trip over from Annapolis sometime in the near future...