:: Burlington’s Namaste makes Indian organic
In the past couple of years, students have pushed for more locally grown produce and meat, and organically grown food to be used in dinning halls. ARAMARK has responded to the students wants by using local and organic foods when available.
Locally-owned restaurants are also starting to use local and organic food in what they serve.
Namaste Indian Cuisine is one local restaurant that buys from local farmers as much as possible. Owners Dipak and Hemlata Patel have bought from local growers for the two years they have owned the restaurant on Huffman Mill Road.
The food at Namaste is cooked fresh everyday, and the best way to keep their food fresh is to buy from local markets. Having local suppliers allows the restaurant to purchase food, mostly vegetables, at least twice a week.
According to Dipak, most Indians are vegetarians, so vegetables are the main ingredient in most Indian foods. With vegetables being so important to the menu, it just makes more sense for the products to be as fresh as possible.
However, Namaste does serve many chicken and seafood dishes as well, to accommodate the American diet.
Steve’s Garden Market is the main supplier of Namaste’s vegetables and a locally grown and raised farm in Durham is its main meat supplier. Hemlata said they only buy from non-local vendors when the food is not available locally.
The freshness of the food also allows it to be healthier. The majority of Indian food is quite healthy, and Namaste uses no additives or preservatives.
All the spices used at Namaste are bought directly from India or from an Indian market, for authenticity and a better taste. Curry is also on the menu, but the Patels will tell you curry is not necessarily spicy. Curry is an Indian word for sauce. Dishes can be ordered as mild, medium or spicy to suit the customer’s taste.
Namaste is an Indian greeting where the speaker places their palms together. “Namaste” means “I honor the Spirit in you which is also in me” which means “I recognize that we are equal.”
The Patels both work at LabCorp. Before purchasing the restaurant in 2005, they bought the Quizno’s in Mebane as a way to keep busy after work.
They never planned to buy the Indian restaurant, but recognized their Quizno’s was doing well and the opportunity arose.
The Patels redecorated and renamed the restaurant. They renamed the restaurant in order to give the restaurant new life and aspired for better customer service.
Namaste is also part of a new initiative, Dine Alamance, which is a new effort organized by Alamance residents Michael and Susan Holland to boost the local economy by bringing support to local restaurants, and by supporting local suppliers; keeping the money close to home.
Namaste is located at 579 Huffman Mill Road in Burlington.
It is open with a lunch buffet Tuesday through Sunday 11: 30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m and everyday 5 to
10 p.m. for dinner. Visit
www.namasteburlington.com for more information.
Copy Edtior: Mary Cunningham - 09/05/07