The Mango Grove, a vegetarian Indian restaurant in Columbia, was recommended to me by a friend who used to live in the area. What with my being veggie, and loving Indian food, it sounded like the perfect place. That they offered a reasonably-priced lunch buffet was just the icing on the cake.
Imagine my surprise, then, to see goat and chicken curries on the buffet! True, they were clearly labelled, and tucked away on a separate table, but still. Goat is the last ingredient I expected to see at a restaurant self-identifying as vegetarian!
Needless to say, I stuck to the vegetarian end, and the food was delicious. They brought masala dosai (pancakes with a potato filling) and naan bread to our table, and I filled my plate several times over with an assortment of dahls and curries, breads and fritters. We'd definitely go back if we're in the area again.
Still, that goat was bothering me. As we settled our bill at the end of the meal, I asked, "When did you stop being vegetarian?" The staff were puzzled, not understanding my question. I pointed towards the meat dishes. "I thought this was a vegetarian restaurant, but you have meat."
They explained: at their old site, recently demolished, there were two restaurants side by side. One vegetarian, one not. When they had to move, they considered splitting their new premises, but on advice from their architect, left the seating as a shared space. Now there are two kitchens, two menus - but only one dining room, and one lunch buffet. Quite a fascinating example of collaboration.