Brookland’s 12th Street is lined with various places to eat, from grills to bars, to fast food chains. These restaurants are mainly tailored towards adults, typically making American food. Masala Story on the other hand, is the only one of its kind on this street, serving authentic Indian food, for both families and college students.
The restaurant has a laid-back atmosphere and is extremely welcoming. The interior has a rustic theme combined with bright colors. The tables are painted bright green, red, yellow, and orange. These colors work effectively, evoking positivity and brightness.
There is a sense of familiarity and comfort in this place. On one wall there is a television constantly playing authentic Indian music, making you feel as if you have been transported out of D.C. to India. In one corner there are toys and children’s books, only reinforcing the idea that this place is radiant welcoming.
“We love you all!” says the quirky chalkboard, which also contains the diverse and nutritious menu.
The owner, Manish Berry, seems to genuinely care about the customers, as he frequently walks around and asks about the food. He is truly aiming to please the customer, as he is extremely accommodating and sweet.
Berry originally had a restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona, but he ultimately moved to D.C. because of its reputation in the business realm and its diversity. He specifically chose Brookland because there was a lack of diverse food, especially Indian food.
Berry says that coming to D.C. was definitely a struggle at first because there are so many requirements that must be fulfilled before the restaurant is up and moving. Although moving was difficult and there were some hurdles, Berry is nonetheless grateful for Brookland and its supportive people.
Berry owns this restaurant and runs it with the help of his two sons, truly embodying a family run business. He says that his restaurant is unique because of the scarcity of Indian food in Brookland and because it is focused on the customer. The menu is customizable, working around allergies and intolerances. Berry also states an interest in delivering to college students on cold or rainy days.
“This is a home away from home,” says Berry when describing how this restaurant is really tailored for college students who want a home cooked meal.
Berry greatly emphasizes how healthy Indian food is, since it helps major organs like the kidney and heart, claiming that it would be good for college students to eat there, because usually the food that college students eat is not nutritious.
“People here love Indian food,” Berry says when acknowledging how supportive the Brookland community has been of his business. He stressed how Masala Story was made with love more than money.
The restaurant was fully designed by Berry. The menu is extremely diverse and varied, and aims to reach as many people as possible, especially college students. Berry recognizes the prominent role Catholic University has on the community, and wants to appeal to college students as much as possible. The restaurant is a great place to either grab a quick meal, sit down and eat with friends, or even study while enjoying the exotic meal selection.
Masala Story is truly one of a kind. It is a splash of flavor in the Brookland community, and serves to accommodate anyone. The restaurant is just a short walk from campus, but it will feel like you have traveled all the way to India once you eat there. The hardworking and kind owner is the reason Masala Story is so special and provides people with an incredible food experience.