City Center breakfast and brunch seekers are discovering a new dining experience that begins immediately with the stimulating aromas of turmeric, cumin and coriander. According to Vedeat owners Praju and Karun Sapkota, these aromatic spices’ healing properties make them perfect ingredients. “We use herbs and spices and fresh ingredients so we can make our meals as healthy as we can. Our meals are aromatic, flavorful and good for health,” says Praju Sapkota, also the chef.
“I used to be a carryout kind of guy,” says Karun Sapkota, “until my wife Praju started teaching me how to have a real dining experience. She helped me learn to savor a meal in a new way. The space and smells are part of the meal. Now I want to reach out and get people excited about Vedeat and what we offer.”
Air Force officer Molly Dunkelberger agrees. She enjoys a leisure brunch with her reading tablet and a “really flavorful and delicious omelet. I like to eat healthy and cook vegan for myself, but I’m not vegan across the board. I’m patronizing here, hoping they will open for dinner in the future.”
Karun describes his initial vision for their eatery and bakery. “The world is so disconnected these days. We want to make a space where people can come in and connect. We want to be a way to bring community together. There is so much diversity in our area, especially with the military. Our dining experience includes our guests sitting around, interacting and enjoying themselves.”
Karun’s vision for creating community begins to take shape in unexpected ways. Customer Michele Chevalier gives a personal example. “After an unexpected loss in our family, we needed last minute lunch accommodations for about 50 people after the funeral,” she says. “Karun and Praju were not only completely sympathetic during a tough time; they kindly opened the restaurant on a day that they were typically closed to accommodate our family. The service, as always, was impeccable and the food was delicious and high quality. There were so many great dishes, but the catfish and sweet potato pancakes were big hits. The decor is beautifully modern and it is extremely clean. We can’t recommend Vedeat enough for an event or just a regular bite to eat. We absolutely love this place and wish them continuing success!”
Karun expands on the couples’ vision, “In the near future we will have our ABC license. We envision not adding dinner but rather a happy hour with open mike nights, readings, poetry nights and music from local talent, including students from our local universities.”
The Sapkotas share a fascinating story about how they met: Both came separately to the United States from Nepal at 11 years old. Karun grew up in Northern Virginia and Praju in Colorado. They met through a best friend. Their toddler son Yuvon is expecting a baby sister in late January, but until then, he captures the couples’ heart and attention. Karun, a full-time aerospace engineer for the U.S. Army at Ft. Eustis, attentively engages with Yuvon, who decides to explore the cashier’s tablet. “I run the errands and help whatever way I can,” he explains.
“Our name is derived from the word Ayurveda, which is a study of the balance between mind, body and soul. We focus on the body through diet, using fresh and locally available ingredients. We also offer hearty meals that are vegetarian and vegan. For example, we serve a delicious Chatamari. It’s a gluten free rice flour pancake topped with ground chicken, Nepalese spices, onions, cilantro and an egg on top,” say Praju, who took Ayurveda cooking classes in New York. She and her husband previously owned an Indian and Napalese restaurant in town.
Praju reflects on the journey, “We used to live in City Center and always liked the area. It’s lively, nice and a good place for restaurants. We also felt there were not many great places for brunch in the area! When we saw that the Lunch Bell space was available, we knew right away that this would be our place!”
TO THE POINT:
Address: 694 Town Center Dr.,
Newport News, VA 23606
Contacts: Praju and Karun Sapkota, owners
Phone: 757-873-3089 or send a Facebook message