Spicy Mina's---what's up?
re: el jefe
here's a link to one of the early over the top posts by jim leff: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
there are probably loads more, but i don't know if they all made it over from the old board. his infatuation with the place and all of the tantalizing extraordinary descriptions of the food sucked me into chowhound in the first place.
mina's is a much beloved place with freshly prepared bengali food. the food can be slow to get out because it's made fresh. some people hate that. the food may not taste the same the next time you go there. and some people hate that. but the food itself is extraordinary. complex flavors. spicy. all topped with carmelized onions. mina herself is warm and lovely, and smiles at you and radiates warmth when you walk in, as you're eating, and when you go.
my favorites are:
the haleem appetizer--complex spicing, grains and mush and chunks of lamb and loads of flavor. i don't have the vocabulary to do this justice.
the samosa chat--samosa chunks topped with chick pea curry, topped with yogurt and tamarind sauce and the ubiquitous great carmelized onions
the pakoras--enormous, perfectly fried, and miraculously ungreasy
dal fry--yellow lentils and grains and garlic and spices and spices and greatness
palak paneer--often almost italian in its preparation, with oil and lots of garlic. the paneer may be all crumbled, or it may be in chunks. this is the most variable from one visit to the next (and isn't always great
)onion kulcha--bread perfection
rose lassi--not on the menu. great fresh creamy yogurt, just a touch sour, with subtle rose flavor or intense rose flavor depending on the day. but amazing quality yogurt richness.
the dessert sampler--creamy things and fried things and altogether delicious things.
rose water (posting loads about mina as freddie on the old board)
I was there recently, and the mustard fish was delicious as usual -- but the room wasn't air conditioned and it was unbearably hot. I'll be back more frequently when the weather cools down.
Funny aside - they never have background music on, and overhearing other conversations is often unavoidable. On several occasions I've heard chowhound references :)