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Any suggestions for a good, moderately priced Indian?

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Tatyana Jan 5, 2001 08:51 AM

Really doesn't matter what part of town, just smth close to being authentic Indian cuisine. Thanks!!
P.S. Moderately priced = not more than $30/person.

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    yvonne johnson RE: Tatyana Jan 5, 2001 02:49 PM

    look down this board to jan 1, 01...thread beginning Cafe Spice. Another suggestion is Haveli, 100 second ave, bet 5 @ 6, 982-0533. It has heavier, and richer fare.

    7 Replies
    1. re: yvonne johnson
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      Pat P RE: yvonne johnson Jan 5, 2001 04:04 PM

      Salaam Bombay on Greenwich between Duane and Reade in Tribeca is my personal favorite. The lunch buffet is pricey for Indian ($15 or so) but stupendous. Dinner is around $30, maybe a bit more depending on what you order, but they do a lot of dishes from the Goan region, which are unusual and superb.

      1. re: yvonne johnson
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        Danger Jones RE: yvonne johnson Jan 6, 2001 02:48 PM

        Yvonne, Have you tried Baluchi's? There are 4 or 5 locations all across Manhattan. My favorite is the Spring Street one. They do excellent tandoori. I recommend the shrimp apetizer stuffed with cream cheese- I know, that sounds a little odd, but trust me--it's truly delicious!

        1. re: yvonne johnson
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          Danger Jones RE: yvonne johnson Jan 6, 2001 02:48 PM

          Yvonne, Have you tried Baluchi's? There are 4 or 5 locations all across Manhattan. My favorite is the Spring Street one. They do excellent tandoori. I recommend the shrimp apetizer stuffed with cream cheese- I know, that sounds a little odd, but trust me--it's truly delicious!

          1. re: Danger Jones
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            yvonne johnson RE: Danger Jones Jan 6, 2001 03:26 PM

            I tried the Baluchi on 6th ave near 4th st. I thought it wasn't that great. The place was very depressing (decor-wise). I haven't been back. Diane rec an up-town one. Maybe there is quite a lot of variation among the different (and many) branches.

            1. re: yvonne johnson
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              Elaine RE: yvonne johnson Jan 6, 2001 03:40 PM

              Baluchi's does vary from location to location, I've had good luck at the SoHo one and the Upper East Side one, less so at Spring Street. It also varies from night to night - the Upper East Side at times has approached deliciousness, at others barely escaped grossness. It is never, however, particularly exciting, and never comes close to Malvalli or the buffets of Jackson Heights (degraded from former glories though those may be). I regard it as fairly reliable dinner before a movie food - when you want a known quantity and don't have time for destination dining.

              1. re: Elaine
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                jr RE: Elaine Jan 7, 2001 12:17 AM

                i'll second halevi on second avenue. despite its proximity to all the cut-rate (and generally, cut-quality) indian places on 6th street, it is really a world apart in terms of food, service, and charm. dishes cost two or three dollars more than its neighbors, but you'll have no problem staying considerably under $30 per person.

                1. re: jr
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                  Diane RE: jr Jan 9, 2001 07:45 AM

                  I don't think Halevi or Haveli or whatever it's called is all that great, and wouldn't go a second time. First, it's overpriced. Second, the bread's not well-fried or well-baked, and has a peculiar over flaky consistency and flavor. And third, the okra was ok, but not terrific. It's really not much better, though it is less greasy, than other Indian joints. Also, they clearly make their entrees fresh, unlike some other places.

                  Baluci's is the only Indian place most Indians I know go to. (The upper east side one is usually decent.) Pakistan Tea House is decent, and so, apparently, is the food place in the gas station on Bowery around Bleecker or so. Can't remember the exact address. Haven't tried Surya, but it seems interesting. Also, if you really want decent Indian go to Dawat or Choli/Chola, can't remember the exact name (sorry! I'm bad with names!)

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          Michael RE: Tatyana Jan 7, 2001 08:58 AM

          There's been a discussion of Madras Mahal and Madras Cafe on another thread recently. If you like South Indian vegetarian cooking, consider these two restaurants. A full dinner (soup or/and appetizer, main dish, dessert, tea or lassi) at Madras Cafe would run you something like $17-20 for dinner apiece.

          I went to Haveli once. It's got great decor, but the service was very confused and the food, though certainly superior to the cheaper 6th St. restaurants, varied from merely good but too fatty to delicious. Overall, it wasn't good enough for me to be tempted to go back in a hurry. I prefer Madras Cafe, which is probably somewhat less expensive, too.

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            Tatyana RE: Tatyana Jan 8, 2001 08:41 AM

            I've already tried Haveli (quite liked it) but now I think I'll try the restaurants that were recommended. Thanks all!

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              MG RE: Tatyana Jan 8, 2001 02:59 PM

              Just thought I'd throw another place into the mix--one of my favorites is The Bay Leaf on 56th between 5+6. They have a great lunch buffet (13.95) and an early bird dinner. I find their dishes to be not as oily as others and their Tandori Rack of Lamb is outstanding.

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                Jennifer RE: Tatyana Jan 8, 2001 03:43 PM

                I'm weighing in a little late, but I second the nomination for Cafe Spice. Wowza. Went there just once and had a vegetarian sampler - went home stuffled like a happy little tick.

                Also; what about Vatan? (lowerish east side - sorry I can't exactly remember.) Lotsa folks have posted about it; It's the "take-your-shoes-off," and sit on pillows kind of place. Prix fixe; $20. All vegetarian. Also astoundingly good.

                7 Replies
                1. re: Jennifer
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                  Caitlin RE: Jennifer Jan 8, 2001 04:48 PM

                  Vatan is on Third Ave. at 29th Street.

                  1. re: Jennifer
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                    MU RE: Jennifer Jan 8, 2001 08:42 PM

                    I don't think Vatan is astoundingly good. The food is just fine, but nothing spectacular -- it is different from N. Indian/Pak food you'll find in a generic "Indian" place, but the menu doesn't seem to vary much, dishes can be a little greasy, and there are a lot of slightly-too-cold deep fried apps. Because of the neat room, it's still a fun place to go with a group, but don't expect pyrotechnics.

                    1. re: MU
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                      yvonne johnson RE: MU Jan 8, 2001 09:32 PM

                      i agree with MU on this one. I went to Vatan last June and the food was very bland, luke-warm, all same-y, though it certainly kept coming. You sit down either on cushions or at a reg table, in your group's little corner. When we went there was a set menu, with lots of little courses.

                      the restaurant is decorated to look like a little village, and I found it pretty weird. another thing that put me off was that the floor was really sticky! Also, it felt touristy to me.

                      vatan is at 409 3rd ave, @ 29th st (689-5666)

                      1. re: yvonne johnson
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                        Diane Mehta RE: yvonne johnson Jan 9, 2001 07:39 AM

                        I agree. I grew up on Gujarati cooking and this place is awful. Greasy, poorly done. Everything was disappointing. I'd never go again. Gujarati (north indian) cooking is excellent, non-greasy, and delicately spiced. This is nothing like it should be.

                        1. re: Diane Mehta
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                          Paul Brown RE: Diane Mehta Jan 9, 2001 11:19 AM

                          So where would you go to find really good Gujararti cooking?

                          1. re: Paul Brown
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                            Diane RE: Paul Brown Jan 9, 2001 02:24 PM

                            I wish I could suggest a place, but have nothing to offer. I really do think Dawat and Choli are decent, but I can't remember if Madhur Jaffrey (Dawat) is Gujarati or not. At any rate, many of the same spices are used.

                            1. re: Diane
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                              jen kalb RE: Diane Jan 9, 2001 03:25 PM

                              no - she is from Delhi.

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