Going Out Guide asked readers and a handful of local restaurateurs to point the way to the area’s best dishes — but this time, they all had to be meat-free. An avalanche of responses poured in. It turns out, this is what we vegetarians really eat: Brownies. Thick, carb-loaded sandwiches. Tacos. Fried cheese. See a photo of every dish that made the cut, and share your own picks in the comments. Click the bold text in each item for details on the restaurant. By Lavanya Ramanathan.
Pani poori at Tandoori NightsThe most satisfying thing about the northern Indian street food pani poori is the ritual: The crispy puffs arrive stuffed with spiced potato and chickpeas, but then it’s up to diners to fill them with brackish, sour pani -- water -- moments before crunching into them in a single, explosive bite that’s tart, spicy and sweet all at once. Eating the pani poori at Tandoori Nights, wrote Susmita Dubey of Chevy Chase, “made me nostalgic.” The secret is the restaurant’s pani, which is infused with fresh raw mango, tamarind and ginger rather than dried spices, says Tandoori Nights manager Shivani Miglani. You can thank Miglani’s mother, Veena Kohli, who developed the vegan recipe for the Maryland restaurants of this chain.
$4.99. 7236 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda. 301-656-4002; 106 Market St., Gaithersburg. 301-947-4007. www.tandoorinightsmd.com. Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post