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E.6th street Indian food

t
traumachef Mar 1, 2008 02:25 PM

Does anybody have a favorite Indian restaurant in the east village on or around the E.6th area? and please tell me why and what you like, thanks

  1. fgf Mar 1, 2008 02:39 PM

    The 6th st. Indian restaurants are mediocre at best catering to a B&T crowd, but when I can't get out of it I go to Royal Bangladeshi on 1st ave just south of 6th. They have a hidden gem of an outdoor space in back completely covered with colorful tapastries. Nice space, reasonable food and cheap.

    2 Replies
    1. re: fgf
      r
      Renguin Mar 2, 2008 06:09 AM

      I'm by no means an indian food expert, but my indian coworker told me this is the last place she'd go for indian. she said all the restaurants are run by bangldeshis and they basically just by hte same spice packets and mixes you can get at like trade joes and make the food with that. my fav place right now is salaam bombay in tribeca.

      1. re: Renguin
        k
        kobetobiko Mar 3, 2008 06:14 PM

        I love salaam bombay as well. I am also no Indian food expert but their fresh made naan and paratha are heavenly! It was actually recommended by my Indian coworker and I have been going there ever since.

    2. b
      benjam26 Mar 2, 2008 07:31 AM

      I would definitely suggest Angon on the Sixth. Nobody is standing outside, begging you to come into their restaurant for "Complimentary Wine" because they stand out on this street. A fantastically welcoming manager and staff, this place has fantastic food, great service. My favorites are the Halim appetizer, vindaloo and they have a mean tandoori too!

      www.angon.biz/

      2 Replies
      1. re: benjam26
        m
        MAH Mar 3, 2008 03:10 PM

        I heartily second the recommendation for Angon. The food is the closest to homestyle that I've had in NYC. Even my parents (who are Indian) were totally impressed with each of the dishes we ordered. Our favorites are the Halim, samosa chat, lamb biryani, chicken dopiaza, saag paneer and garlic naan.

        1. re: MAH
          r
          razeup May 5, 2009 09:30 AM

          I've been going to Angon for years now, and I've rarely if ever been disappointed. I always get the Samosa Chat, the Naan (NEVER dried out like the rest of 6th street), Chicken Dopeaja, Dal Fry, Lamb Rezala, or Chicken Saag (not on the menu, but they'll make it no problem). As ben mentioned their staff is great, although owner/server Milton is the clear standout, and will do just about everything to make sure you leave happy. Just for the record though, their food is homestyle Bengali

      2. ephramzz Mar 2, 2008 11:16 AM

        while I agree that most of these places are crap, just trying to lure people inside with offers of free glasses of wine, there are a few that are worth visiting: Banjara (north Indian with a supposed Rajasthani influence , http://banjarany.com/about.html), Haveli, and Balucchi's (a bit pricier, so only worth it for their lunch specials, a chain with several other locations I haven't been to, get the Kachori - "too difficult to put into words, but delicious nonetheless" if you go, it's great!).

        -----
        Haveli
        100 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

        Banjara
        97 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

        Baluchi's
        275 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10007

        1. n
          noodlekugel Mar 2, 2008 11:40 AM

          i happen to love the chicken tiki marsala at Mitali East. We loved it so much , we ordered a 2nd helping for dessert. I have always had a great dining experience there.

          1. 1
            10yrresident Mar 2, 2008 12:31 PM

            I love Indian food and have eaten in just about every fancy and un-fancy Indian restaurant I have come across in NYC and London--and I can honestly tell you that Banjara is really really good, especially considering that it is pretty cheap. At this point my husband and I have tried almost everything on the menu and haven't had a bad meal yet--although some nights the Chicken Tikka Masala is better than others, I don't know why. There is nothing unusual about the assortment of dishes on offer--they're just really really good. And they definitely do not use the same spice packs as all the other places on 6th St, which are indeed mostly awful.

            4 Replies
            1. re: 10yrresident
              j
              JFores Mar 3, 2008 06:26 PM

              Pretty cheap!?!? Every item they have is probably about 3 times as expensive as VASTLY superior places in Jackson Heights and Jamaica.

              1. re: JFores
                1
                10yrresident Mar 3, 2008 07:44 PM

                Point taken...I mean pretty cheap on the grander spectrum...comparing it to Tamarind, Dawat, etc. I also mean that it is pretty cheap relative to the quality and freshness of the meats/seafood.

              2. re: 10yrresident
                n
                NYCKim Apr 20, 2009 02:24 PM

                Please do NOT go to Banjara. It is amazingly over priced wiht very bad very slow service and mediocre food. I needed a dipstick to measure the amount of grease soaked into my eggplant. Who ever heard of bland Vindaloo? And I never had a dried-out over-cooked Poori bread before going there this weekend. I can't believe the bill came out to $80 for 2 people! Why? Because there are rugs on the wall instead of Christmas lights? I'll just bring my shades and my own bottle (lousy wine selection) to one of the other 6th St spots and at least not feel ripped off.

                1. re: NYCKim
                  D...DF Apr 22, 2009 09:03 AM

                  I'm sorry to hear about your experience there. I am a regular and am rarely if ever disappointed. The prices are steep for the block, but unlike their neighbors they use real spices and uniformly fresh ingredients, and probably shell out more for rent as it is a large corner space.

              3. scarlet starlet Mar 3, 2008 08:29 PM

                I vote for Madras Cafe on 2nd ave right below 6th street. It's the only place in that area that dishes up South Indian food, and it's really good. If you're looking for North Indian, then go to Angon.

                Banjara is ok.

                Avoid everything else on that block. They're all run by Bangladeshis and my brother and I are convinced that they all share a subterranean kitchen out of which they run food to all of the different storefronts.

                5 Replies
                1. re: scarlet starlet
                  p
                  Pan Mar 5, 2008 12:48 AM

                  Yes, I agree. Madras Cafe is on 2nd Av. between 4th and 5th, and I've long considered it the best Indian restaurant in the neighborhood. I haven't been to Banjara in some time, but that's not because of the food but the service.

                  All this said, if you want great South Indian vegetarian food and have a choice, go to Saravanaas on 26th and Lexington. Madras Cafe is good, but Saravanaas is wonderful! If you do go to Madras Cafe, though, you can get a decent amount of spiciness in your utthapam if you ask for little green chilis to be specially added. Everything I've had at Madras Cafe has been good, except for the achar (probably called spicy pickles on the menu), which reminds me of turpentine. lol

                  1. re: Pan
                    Ike Dec 7, 2008 04:30 PM

                    Beware, Madras Cafe has gone downhill, particulary the service which is utterly atrocious now. Admittedly we were there with a large group, and they appear to despise large groups, based on their rotten behavior. Maybe they'll treat you OK if you're with fewer than four people.

                    1. re: Ike
                      p
                      Pan Dec 7, 2008 08:50 PM

                      I've never been there as part of a large group (=greater than 4 or so), but I went with my girlfriend a few weeks ago and had no problems. Just what did they do to you?

                      1. re: Pan
                        Ike Jan 4, 2009 11:44 AM

                        Service was not just slow this time, but practically non-existent. We essentially had to accost a server to get any help. They gave us a lot of dirty looks (especially the head guy) and behaved as if they didn't want us there. We received very few menus. I mean, heck, they knew we were coming. If they don't want to deal with large groups, they should just refuse to accept reservations from large groups.

                        And the food was not as flavorful or vibrant as it used to be. It was nothing more than adequate.

                        1. re: Ike
                          p
                          Pan Jan 4, 2009 03:35 PM

                          I'm quite surprised to hear this. They need to keep their service at least adequate in order to survive in this economic climate.

                          As for the flavorfulness of the food: Lots of their clientele come there because it's kosher or/and vegetarian and don't like authentically spicy food, so you do have to ask for extra little green chilis to show them that you really want things spicy. Even then, you're likely to get spicier food at Saravanaas, where the clientele is mostly Indian and I think they presume that the non-Indians who come there, even if not cognoscenti, are mostly going there for real South Indian flavor.

                2. D...DF Dec 7, 2008 06:40 PM

                  Banjara is one of my favorite Indian places in the city.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: D...DF
                    n
                    NYCKim May 4, 2009 07:40 AM

                    Well they treated everyone I encountered like dirt the night I was there. And the food tasted similarly.

                    1. re: D...DF
                      bolletje May 4, 2009 08:17 PM

                      I really didn't like Banjara the last time I was there about 2 months ago, the food was bland and over-priced and the service was awful. I usually don't even care about service!
                      Haveli is pretty okay, they're nice there and while it's not a revelation foodwise, it's at least okay.
                      I actually prefer the cab stand food on East 1st st to most of what you get around E.6th st.

                      1. re: bolletje
                        p
                        Pan May 4, 2009 08:30 PM

                        Punjab, yeah.

                    2. c
                      ChowDiva May 5, 2009 11:41 AM

                      I like Spice Cove. It's not as tacky as some of the other places and I think the food is always tasty and fresh. It's BYOB during the week.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ChowDiva
                        JungMann May 5, 2009 12:02 PM

                        I don't know what they serve at Spice Cove, but that isn't Indian food. I ordered vindaloo, a dish famous for its heat and tartness and ended up getting something sweet and creamy!

                      2. guttergourmet May 5, 2009 01:13 PM

                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/617355

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: guttergourmet
                          f
                          firni May 5, 2009 08:11 PM

                          I would agree - the places on 6th street are kind of awful, everything is dried out or overcooked or just not fresh-tasting. There is much, much better South Asian food to be had in NYC, Jackson Heights is recommended or even Murray Hill. Or try Sukhadia's in midtown. Not just for food quality, but for avoiding the unpleasantness of people trying to hawk their food at you.

                          That being said, I have to take issue with the "run by Bangladeshis" line that keeps getting play - my mom would never tolerate the use of premade stuff. So if it's a proxy for "run by people who don't care about quality" I protest out of ethnic pride : )

                        2. famdoc May 6, 2009 08:20 AM

                          I remember going to E6th St. "Indian" restaurants in the late 70s and early 80s, when I was a student and getting an entire meal for $4.95. Rumors always circulated that all the restaurants shared a single kitchen.

                          We now go only to Haveli. I like their food and like the open Tandoori oven. You can see your food being prepared and see breads being made. I think this helps elevate the quality somewhat.

                          But, the new destination (actually, not so new, but as compared to E. 6th St., it's new) for quality, fairly-priced Indian is "Curry Hill," the area around Lexington and 28th. You'll find more Southern Indian joints and, more recently, more joints proclaiming themselves to be "Kosher" and "Vegetarian." I guess the modern Orthodox crowd likes Indian food.

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