Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Clarification on Curry Hill

I went with my cousin's wife to Indian lunch yesterday. We took the 6 down to 28th, and popped up above the ground on that little strip of Lexington where it's all Indian food all the time. Then we just had to pick where to eat.

I didn't want to eat at the delicious Saravanaas (sp?), since I'd eaten there with Zora and Peter not two weeks ago (although, to be fair, it was last year) and since it's a menu that's pretty typical of West Berkeley chaat houses. There's the place with the big kosher certification in the window at the corner of 27th, and that has really tasty food for not expensive, but it turned out that it is closed on Tuesdays. And of the two places, one right next to it, and the one next to that, I remember not having been bowled over by the one, and the other was closed.

So there we were, window shopping for Indian buffet, and someone was outside of one (Dhaba; I hadn't been there before) cleaning the windows. The place looked pretty schmancy, but the buffet was right under $10 and there seemed to be a fair amount of people there, at least two of three who looked Indian (although it wasn't the ideal overwhelming majority), and so I figured I'd ask the window guy if he had any opinion of the food.

This is the conversation that we had:

Me: The food here, it's good?
Guy Cleaning Window: No.
Me: It's not?
GCW: No.
Me: You don't like it?
GCW: No.
ME: Do you like Indian food?
GCW: No.

After this, I paused for a couple of seconds. I mean, the people inside all seemed really happy, and the restaurant wasn't empty. So I decided to try the conversation again.

Me: Do you like the food here?
GCW: No.
Me: Why?
GCW: No English.
Me: What do you speak?
GCW: Spanish.

So I started the conversation over again, and this is how it went:
Me: La comida aqui, ¿está buena?
GCW: No.
Me: No?
GCW: No.
Me: No te gusta?
GCW: No.
Me: ¿Te gusta la comida India?
GCW: No.

Long story short: the lady from inside came outside, and told us that we were welcome to see the buffet if we wanted to consider it first, and so we went inside and took a look and it smelled and looked delicious and there we stayed until we were full and couldn't eat another bite of the sooji halwa they had for dessert.

Dhaba is my new favorite Indian restaurant in New York.


Blogger Kartikeya Date said...

I dont know if the Saravana you mentioned is part of the same chain (they have one on El Camino Real in Sunnyvale), but i find that the Sambar at Udipi Palace is superior to that at Saravana. This may be completely different though.

Did this Dhaba place have a good vegetarian menu?

10:27 PM  
Blogger Kartikeya Date said...

By the way... you need to write down your post-irony theory before itse too late :)

10:29 PM  
Blogger AV said...

It's probably the same Saravana: they have some branches in India, too (and they have a list of them on the menu.)

The sambar at the Saravana where we went a couple of weeks ago was pretty good, but sambar has never been my absolute favorite. I think that I've only ever finished sambar (regardless of size of container) once, at Vik.

11:20 PM  
Blogger AV said...

Oh, and Dhaba's vegetables were delicious, but I didn't check out the a la carte section of the menu: I just ate from the buffet, and there was a mixed veg thing, a spinach thing, and a potato thing, all of which I tried and all of which were good. And at the beginning, they brought out things that were like pakoras but maybe not pakoras, and tikkis, and those were fantastic.

11:22 PM  
Blogger soleil said...

This dialogue is hilarious. you should be writing sitcoms!

11:28 PM  
Blogger joshphillipson said...

When you mail me a big, steaming plate of food from Dhaba, please don't use the shipping vendor that messed your bike. Thanks.

2:07 PM  
Blogger K. said...

this is perhaps my favorite blog entry, ever. no? no.

12:51 AM  
Blogger AV said...


9:33 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

two things:

one--you're funny.
two--wish we'd gotten to hang out while you were east. especially because my so-called friends don't like indian food. if such a thing is possible.

6:14 PM  

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