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Cheap Indian around 28th & Lex

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I've just started teaching twice a week not too far from all the Indian restaurants around 28th & Lexington. I've been to lots of them (Pongal, Curry Leaf, that Bollywood place, etc.), but I'm interested in trying some of the cheaper, hole-in-the-wall type places in the area, especially if they offer good lunch specials. I'm a vegetarian, but the places you guys recommend certainly don't have to be so long as they have a few veg. options.

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  1. While I haven't been, I've heard a lot of praise for Saravannas (26th and Lex). I believe the menu there is all vegetarian.

    1. I ate at Chennai (on the advice of fellow CHers) on 27th between Park and Lex a few days ago. It's kosher vegetarian. The decor leaves a lot to be desired but the food is amazing and the waiters are very amiable.

      1. Chennai Garden (mentioned above) has a great lunch buffet. It was cheaper than the other buffets by a few dollars (haven't been in about six months so who knows if it's the same now), and excellent, clean, not too greasy. It's vegetarian. There's also curry in a hurry (28th & park), which is more of a hole in the wall with steam table curries and stuff. It's pretty good for what it is but not as cheap as it once was, but for a filling lunch it's fine.

        1 Reply
        1. re: catherine

          I heard that Curry in a Hurry closed down, and good riddance! Everything I ordered from there at the recommendation of a friend was truly AWFUL. I have an ironclad stomach, and the food from there induced a raging gastro-intestinal revolution. Blech. If it's not closed, run away don't walk.

        2. Thanks for the replies, guys. I'll try Chennai Garden this week. I'm curious about the tiny distinctively un-fancy places -- I don't know their names, but there seems to be a bunch of them -- on and around Lex. that appear to cater more to the cab driver crowd than places like Chennai and Curry Leaf and the like. Has anyone tried them?

          3 Replies
          1. re: buriedpaul

            give a try to Shipa Kasturi on the e side of the street down around 26-27 - their veg dishes are good - if you eat fish, their fish is also very good - all on the steam table, I think around $6 for 2+rice.

            1. re: jen kalb

              Thanks Jen. That's exactly the sort of place I was thinking of. I'll try it this week.

            2. re: buriedpaul

              As "cabby" as it gets: (might be 24hr too, not sure)

              New Naimat Kada (Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi Cuisine)
              124 Lexington Avenue between 28th & 29th sts
              (212) 400-1166

              They have a large screeen TV playing Bollywood favorites for your dining pleasure. Beverages are limited, so byob - stop in the corner deli or something. I doubt you'll spend more than $6-$8 an entree at any time. On my way out, I stop upstairs to the video store and get a paan for a dollar. http://www.garamchai.com/canada/canad...

            3. Check out Roomali on 27th btwn lex and 3rd...they serve roti/kati rolls that are addicting...and you can get 2, which is anice lunch, for $8 or $9

              1. There's also Haandi, a pakastani hangout. They have a veg combo, and you can sit there.
                I would personally not recommend Curry in a Hurry. On a good day it's awful, on bad day it's inedible.

                1 Reply
                1. re: zorgclyde

                  Haandi is as bad, if not worse, than Curry in a Hurry. The only Indian food worth eating in the neighborhood these days is at Saravaanas, Pongol, Copper Chimney and Roomali.

                2. Tried Banana Leaf a couple days ago. For 7.95 you get a lot of food, and it's good!

                  1. I have been to Curry Leaf - it's not bad. It's nothing to write home about either.