Indian Food-6th Street
Taking someone for the first time to try Indian food. (they usually only eat Italian and are skeptical). I used to eat at Gandhi on 6th street alot, but after one not one or two not so great meals switched to Paang(?) on 1st off 6th. Also know that Havelli's quality is a bit above, and so are the prices. Been to Jackson Diner and truthfully IMO found korma's and some other dishes lacking in flavor other than just being plain "hot". I think the atmosphere would not be also as desirable at Jackson. Anyone eaten at Gandhi lately? or Havelli? Can you still bring your own wine?
Would appreciate a quick reply as we are goin Thursday. Thanks,
why waste your time on 6th street, especially if you are bringing a first time Indian food eater. The food is still lackluster at best and tastes nothing like the delicacies found in Jackson Heights, or second to that some of the places up on Lexington/28th. the food on 6th street is a sham and it seems that it all comes from a central kitchen shared by all of these places. it is more bangladeshi than indian anyway.
I went to an Indian place on West Broadway a few months ago; it was very nice inside, reasonably priced (comparable, more or less, to 6th street) with good quality food. If I remember correctly it was called Namaskaar.
I would recommend it for your situation, though there is better food at other restaurants.
I ate at Haveli with my girlfriend last week, for the 1st time. About $45 for both of us before tip, IIRC. The standard pickled onion and cilantro+green chili sambals were unusually good, and hot. I got the mulligatawny, which was tomatoey and not as hot as I hoped, but good. My girlfriend got a special chicken soup which was delicious. Our main dishes were a potato, mushroom, and cauliflower dish (something gobi, I forget), which was good, and I'm forgetting which goat dish we got (it was OK). But what I didn't forget is that they were getting everyone's order wrong. They offered to give us 2 or 3 things we didn't order, and then they actually gave us what I figured was white chicken dhan sak, which we didn't order. They gave it to us free when we pointed it out to them, but I give them serious demerits for the slipshod service.
The decor is very nice and interesting.
I rate the restaurant 1-star overall, but my girlfriend disagreed seriously and gave it a 2-star rating. She wants to go back for Valentine's Day. I'll take her there, but it's not my preference. I wouldn't care if I never went back.
My favorite Indian restaurant in the area is Madras Cafe, 2nd Av. between 4th & 5th. It's around $18 plus tip for a full meal including dessert and lassi for a drink. (Note that we had no dessert at Haveli.)
If you want to eat in Manhattan, you might want to try Mavalli Palace, on East 29th St., for some good Southern Indian vegetarian food. There are many postings about Mavalli on this board - you can search for specific recommendations. The masala dosa is delish, and the service is very nice. It's perhaps a bit more expensive than the places on 6th St., but the food is much tastier.
No suggestions for 6th street, but we just discovered this great place _ Vatan _ on 3rd Ave @ 29th Street. Kind of kitschy _ you go in and take off your shoes, sit on pillows in booths, or on the floor.
It's prix fixe _ I think it was $20. You just sit down and they start bringing the food. Appetizers - wonderful little samosas, really firey cilantro dip, carrots with horseradish, beans and lentils. (It's all vegetarian, all you can eat.)
For the main dish - they ask if you want hot, medium or mild. There was a yellow lentil dish, a cauliflower dish (I can never remember the names.) Rice pudding, yogurt dip, etc. Very tasty.
Please, whatever you do don't at on 6th street. The food is pretty pathetic and - this is NYC- your choices are wide! Try any of these: Pongal, Vatan, Chola, Madras Mahal, Mavalli. I absolutely guarantee that whichever you choose and whatever you order it will be head and shoulders above anything on 6th street-yech!
re: Stefany B.
No, Mavalli is all vegetarian. I learned about it from these boards, and have since taken my parents and two sets of out of town visitors, and they all LOVED it. It is southern Indian, though, and may not have some dishes you may want if you are thinking of the typical generic-Indian menu. Scout around on the board a little more. I know there were some posts about a place (maybe Madras Mahal?) right near Mavalli, but I don't recall if it's southern too (though if you can judge a book by its cover...); and some place around the corner from 6th Street that was reportedly better than 6th (don't know, haven't been, and have forgotten the name).
Vatan (Veg only)409 Third Ave (29th)
Chola 232 E.58 (don't get scared by the location)
Pongal 110 Lex (28th)(Veg only)
Mavalli Palace (veg only) 46 E.29
Madras Mahal 28th near Lex
Cafe Spice 72 University (10th)
All very good especially compared to 6th Street. Try the masala dosai or the utapam if they have them. Good luck!