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Anyone been to Mina's recently? Reports, please!

I was going to go to Angon tonight, but a quick check on the boards revealed that Angon's secret ingredient has moved to Queens, namely at 64-23 Broadway, Queens (718) 205-2340. Has anyone been there recently? Please tell me if it is still good. Almost all of the comments are from 2005...

Thank you!

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  1. there have been lots of reports, but i know the search engine's buggy. here's one of mine, but there are lots more, from me and others: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/350376

    mina is still there, still cooking lovingly, and the food is still fantastic. my favorites are the pakoras, the heavenly haleem, and the (off menu) rose water lassis and pickled eggplant baigan achar. get thee to queens, enjoy, and please report back!

    1 Reply
    1. re: rose water

      Oh, thank you for the link! I thought it impossible that no one breathed a word about her in 2007 yet. I'll be taking notes from your report for tonight.

    2. I was there a couple of weeks ago and posted about it. The apps were delicious -- some of the crispiest, non-greasy samosas and bhajis I've ever had. Nice level of spicy heat on all the dishes. We also had a divine Fish Kofta that I'm still dreaming about a few weeks later. The room ain't gorgeous, but hey, it's Queens, and the food more than makes up for it.

      It's BYO, by the way.

        1. So last Friday I went to Mina’s and had for appetizer the samosa chat, while my dining partner had the lamb haleem. The samosa chat was just ok, nothing special (prefer the ones at Sukhadia’s), but the lamb haleem smelled and was reported to be delicious (I am vegetarian, so I didn’t taste it). What we really liked was the dal fry, amazing like everyone said, and the vegetable ‘meat’balls—forgot their real menu name. I wish I could remember more details, but I didn’t take notes. Besides, I am losing my sense of taste after losing my sense of smell, so I am not the best judge of such things.

          1 Reply
          1. re: hungry

            thanks for reporting back. i agree with you on the samosa chaat--we get it every time (my partner loves it) and it's good, but i don't love it. the pakoras on the other hand--perfectly crisp, light, rich flavorful batter, shreds of super fresh vegetable--that, i love. that alone is worth an hour on the subway. i wish she'd make a veg haleem--the greatness is less the lamb and more the comforting grainy mush, spiked with fresh ginger and lots of other magical unidentifiable seasoning. the veggie balls are malai kofta; i like them too.

          2. FWIW, she just added a bunch of new things to the menu. Instead of samosa chat, try her papri chat (off menu, I believe).

            4 Replies
            1. re: Jim Leff

              Last minute plans landed me at Mina's tonight. I got the papri chat, and have to say that I prefer the samosa chat. The actual menu is the same as it's been--Jim, what are the other secret off-menu greats? (Besides the ones I already know and have been ordering for years--the luscious creamy rose lassi and the fantastic pickled eggplant baingan achar).

              Again, my favorite was the pakoras--you hear the sound of the mandoline shredding vegetables after you order. My family made fun of me for noting the sound, and getting excited, but it means that the vegetables are crisp and fresh. And the hot, freshly fried pakoras are fantastic. There was a young 'hound at the next table over, who I'd guess was about 12 years old, eyeing everything we got with delight. Such fun to have young folks joyously interested in deliciousness.

              I also got malai kofta, inspired by hungry--different than any I'd had before, studded with paneer, which was an interesting and tasty touch.

              I can't wait to go back.

              1. re: rose water

                Bear in mind that no dish is made the same way twice. So discussion of this place is actually quite futile. And this also explains the reports of inconsistency where people go twice and are disappointed one time (because Mina made things a way less to their pref). But, in general, the quantum haze of papri chat has, for me, been of a higher level than the data fog of samosa chat.

                The paneer in the malai kofta is something new. I do think her pakora is the sole item on the menu in which she's kind of sort of settling into a single groove. Though the spicing varies.

                The new items I mentioned are on the yellow paper menu (on the ledge by the door). Ask Mina (not the clueless staff) about "new dishes". A bunch of soups, for one thing.

                1. re: Jim Leff

                  I'll have to second that, Jim, about the 'Clueless' staff--although I wish I would have read that disclaimer before going yesterday to try out some of the new dishes. The waiter had absolutely no idea what I was talking about, even though I tried insisting, best I could, that there were 'new dishes'... I gave up pretty quickly, though, and specifically mentioned the 'papri chat', but to no avail.

                  Was 'Dal Mahkti' (which was a soupier Dal, with kidney beans too I think) one of the new dishes? (She began serving that sporadically a couple months ago and I loved it).

                  --j

                  1. re: Jim Leff

                    she may be settling into a pakora groove, but that too is never the same way twice. it's always freshly prepared, crisp, hot, with crisp vegetables. but sometimes it has more potato (not my favorite), sometimes it has whole spinach leaves (gorgeous) and the level of hot pepper varies widely.

                    though the staff is indeed clueless, they are still charming. and mina is not clueless. she apologized profusely for our meals taking longer than usual to come out last night. but hey--i'm glad that the restaurant was busier. and our food was fresh and awesome--this was the first time i had a view of the kitchen, and there was an enormous mound of fresh spinach that went into our amazing palak paneer.

              2. ate here for the first time and impressed with what we had, although I felt we could have ordered much more (just two of us dining). had the samosa chat, the bhuna lamb (sp?), the dhal cooked with mango, some breads and a couple of mango lassis. overall impression was really good since the food tasted very fresh, clean and actually light flavors; you could taste individual spices and flavors even in a bite that held a bunch of ingredients; definitely not the homogenous mush of many other places. one weird thing was that the food cooled down considerably during our meal so by the end (perhaps we were too chatty?) the food was cold. not sure what one is supposed to do about it.

                but anyway, it was almost closing time on a wednesday night when we got there and I think the only people there besides mina and one server was one of their friends, who was served what looked like a giant wrap made of naan, and probably filled with tandoori or some other grilled meat; it looked like a great sandwich for takeout or something. we ordered the dhal cooked with mango, just because I was scared of what fried dhal meant, but it was really good, nice and light with good texture and fresh herbs. the lamb dish was good also, the meat somewhat chewy, but that's how I like certain kinds of lamb. the breads were alright, not the best part of the meal at all, and the samosa chat, prepared fresh, was pretty good, but not particular transcendent; I meant to order the "papri chat" off menu a la Leff, but totally forgot to.

                anyway, it deserves a return visit for sure, maybe with a slightly larger party; we ordered everything based on suggestions from the server and I felt they were good, but perhaps if we ordered 6 or so dishes, we could really put together a great meal.

                oh, and total (tax and tip) was $50 for 2 which felt a little hight for indian food, but well worth it for the freshness and subtlety of what we had.

                1. I just saw some good news that may increase Spicy Mina's prosperity and longevity. I just entered my votes online for Zagat Survey; they're due next week. And I noticed that Mina's is listed on the ballot! Solely because of the discussions on this site, I think. So Mina's will be in the new Zagat guide and that should bring in a lot of business.