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Where do the cab drivers eat?

I figure that if you're looking for a good Indian or Middle Eastern joint in the city, asking the cab drivers would be a good place to start. Have any of y'all noticed certain food spots that seem to be very popular with cab drivers? I know Mott Corner on Kenmare and Mott and a place on 9th Ave between 29th and 30th are pretty good. Suggestions?

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  1. I dont look at where the cabbies eat, I look for the double parked Verizon and Con Ed trucks. They know the best places to get the best lunches, esp blow out sandwiches.

    1. There's a teeny-tiny Indian place on 1st Ave between 1st & A that is swarming with cabbies...I've been meaning to go for some time now...always smells delish

      8 Replies
      1. re: LeahBaila

        I've noticed that one too... I think it might face Houston.

        1. re: LeahBaila

          Yep, that's one and Lahore on Crosby just south of Houston is another.

          1. re: KTinNYC

            I've only been to Lahore. I don't care for their food. Is the place on 1st better?

            1. re: michele cindy

              Yes, the food is a little better at the place on 1st. A tip for Lahore, how ever long they put the food in the microwave for, ask them to add another minute. They never leave the food in long enough and always comes out luke-warm.

          2. re: LeahBaila

            Punjabi Grocery & Deli
            114 E 1st St
            New York, NY 10009-7924
            Phone: (212) 533-9048

            It's 24 hours, it's vegetarian, and it's insanely cheap.

            1. re: kathryn

              I've been there for quick snacks. Nothing has been especially good.

              1. re: kathryn

                Been here late night -- convenient for a quick cheap bite after-drinking and catching a cab (just wait for one of the cabbies inside to come out)

              1. Punjabi btw. 1st & 2nd Ave on Houston, it's a favorite with the cabbies. SO CHEAP and SO GOOD! Last time I was there it was $2 for a small portion of rice and two side (lentils, chickpeas, curries, chutneys) $4 dollars for the large. They also have have samosas, which I have heard are delicious. The $2 portion is usually enough to satisfy.

                1. Great thread, I've been needing these tips

                  1. I think this fellow has the answer to your question: http://www.famousfatdave.com/blog/

                    I like to eats.

                    1. Here's one for sure in Curry Hill ...

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

                      Go upstairs to the Video store and get a paan on the way out.

                      1. One recent tip: http://www.chow.com/digest/3865

                        Big Arc Chicken
                        233 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

                        1. Pakistan Tea House on Church St, of course.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: nokitsch

                            cab drivers in my neighborhood have lunch at a place called Big Arc Chicken on 1st Avenue bet 13 and 14 streets.

                            1. re: LRS

                              There's a place close to where I work on 9th ave between 20th and 21st on the east side of the street. Not sure what it's called. It's in the middle of the block. They only serve vegetarian and for $5.50 (including tax) you get a pretty nice size portion of your choice of 3 out of the 4 or 5 items on their steam table. They also serve the lunch w/yogurt and a cilantro chutney type sauce plus little hot peppers if you like. They run out pretty quickly, though.

                            2. re: nokitsch

                              i like pak teahouse alot, but u have to order the right things...the chicken kebabs are the best thing there by a long shot along with the fresh naan; the vegetables are decent, i usually get lentils and / or chickpeas. Most of the meat curries are fairly mediocre. Also when you get the chicken kebab, make sure they give you alot of the greenish yogurt sauce on the ride, they only give you one and the lady at the counter will probably give you attitude (she's lame), but it makes it better.

                            3. The street outside Haandi always seems to be packed with taxi drivers too at lunch. Lex near 28th-ish?

                              1. Desi Junction. It is on 10th ave and between 48th and 49th. it gets rave reviews, and my colleague who is indian says it is just like homemade, and the price is great too! i think it is about $5 for a great lunch.

                                1. I do not think looking at where cabbies eat is a good yardstick of good south-asian food. Most of the cab drivers want inexpensive desi meal when they are on the job. calling a place dhaba, dont a good takeout make. If you detect a pinkish-red tomato sauced dishes you know its .. ahem :)

                                  If you are looking for inexpensive place - Go look at the steam tables and if you find chicken and lamb cooked with bones and no bright yellow alu-gobhi, you are likely to get a decent value for your money.

                                  In the vegetarian end of the spectrum, Sarvanas on 26th and Lex; and Dimple on 30th between 5th & Bwy are what I go for a certain kind of desi-khana fix.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: anil

                                    I couldn't agree more. Since when do cabbies represent some type of culinary elite? It's not like these guys sat down when they were 16 and said - "What career path should I take? Should I go to chef school and open a fabulously successful 3 star restaurant or should I drive a taxi?"

                                    Ditto for truck drivers. This is all urban legend stuff. They want cheap, fast, decent food with convenient parking for their cabs. That makes perfect sense if you're a cab driver but it shouldn't be the benchmark for the rest of us in picking where we eat.

                                    Case in point - Pakistani Teahouse. After years of reading glowing posts about it I paid a visit awhile back. It was mediocre at best and I'm being charitable at that. Lukewarm steam table stuff, generic sauces. Most of the 6th street places, which are usually derided on this board, routinely turn out better food. And yet the Teahouse is praised year in and year out. Because cabbies eat there?

                                    It's time to shoot this myth in the heart.

                                    1. re: Bob Martinez

                                      >They want cheap, fast, decent food with convenient parking for their cabs.

                                      As a former NYC cab driver (many, many years ago), I totally agree with this statement. If the place has a reasonably clean bathroom, that's a big plus, too.

                                      1. re: Bob Martinez

                                        > They want cheap, fast, decent food with convenient parking for their cabs.

                                        That's actually kind of the point (minus the convenient parking). Cheap, fast, and decent seems like something worth knowing about.

                                    2. There's another Punjab something or other on 9th avenue and 21st I think that always has lines of cabs parked on the street.

                                      1. couple popular places (desi deli? and one other) on 10th north of 48th