Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Outer Boroughs >
Feb 13, 2009 04:17 PM

Spicy Mina, still around, and worth a try?

Has the cooking gotten less erratic and the pricing more consistent?

how much should i be looking at? and does anyone happen to have a link to or a posting of a copy of the Spicy Mina menu?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I think Mina's cooking is much as ever. We entered an empty restaurant for Saturday lunch a couple of weeks ago, We ordered a bunch of food (too much as usual) and Mina went into the kitchen and started chopping up veg. I wondered how long it would take. 20 min later the dishes started arriving and they were very good, especially a veg kichri and the saag paneer. Also the breads - it was thoughtful that she subbed eggs for meat in one filled bread since there was a vegetarian in our group. The rendition of saag paneer has been a little different each time Ive had it - typically with Mina. The prices are on the menu. Its not a cheap meal (that kichri was expensive) but we wound up taking stuff home. If you like bengali style cooking, do go.

    4 Replies
    1. re: jen kalb

      hi jen, do you happen to have a menu or a link to one.

      and didn't happen to move in the past year and a half or still at the same location?

      thanks again.

      1. re: jen kalb

        Mina's isn't reeeally a Bangladeshi place, btw. Very few of her menu items are properly BD. Otherwise, she's always served good stuff, but her prices are too high for her level of inconsistency. Bangladeshis I bring there just get annoyed because she's in an area where South Asian food is supposed to be so cheap, but she's incredibly expensive (compared to say, Ghoroa, Sagar, Jhamman, etc)

        1. re: JFores

          I really dont care about the pricing, tho $15 for kichri is high - I still appreciate Mina's approach to cooking - its verylike eating in a home kitchen. I think its a pity, but understandable, that many south asians arent willing to pay more than a pittance for their meals - it almost guarantees that ingredient quality and ambiance will be poor and that trying for a higher standard will not be rewarded.

          As for the question of whether her cooking is "bangladeshi" bangladeshi cooking encompasses the muslim dishes which are found across south asia as well as specifically bengali specialties. Mina's fish dishes and eggplant with mustard are typical and not commonly found bengali specialties - she also offers haleem , biryani and such. I cant think of any other appropriate way to characterize her cooking.

          1. re: JFores

            The Bengali that I know best, my husband, loves Mina's cooking! (more than his own mother's but sshhh, don't tell her that...)
            He went last week with some Bengali friends and they were raving about a goat dish that they had.

          1. I have eaten there twice in the last few weeks. I hadn't been there for awhile as we live in CT, but I would estimate that we have eaten there about 20 times now over the last 3 years.

            I am happy to report that it is as great as ever. Food was fresh and delicious ... Mina was as friendly as ever and the place, though still a hole in the wall, is slightly more squared away.

            Yes the service is quirky and sometimes slow, but then, we dont go there for a "fine dining" experience .. we go for the best Indian/Bengali food that we have ever eaten in the US.

            We always order the Shak Ponir (fresh spinach and cheese, perfectly spiced - not the usual green glop), Chicken Tandoori- so nicely prepared and tender unlike the usual dried out, red stained version) and Chana Masala - spicy chick peas served with puri.

            There are some dishes which we have tried that we didnt care for like the much discussed, Chicken Jhal Fry.

            Yes the prices are a bit higher than the places up the street, but then, none of them are very good IMHO. (We also prefer Mina's to any place in Manhattan - no matter the price)

            Go and enjoy ...

            1 Reply
            1. re: LTSomma

              i might be mistaken but isn't some areas of connecticut closer to queens than some areas of manhattan???

            2. I cannot understand how anyone would go all the way into Queens for these odds. The chance that it will be good, or even OK, is 1 out of 5 or less. I think the chance that it will be great is 1 out of 12.

              Oh yes, it can be quite good. But it also can be INEDIBLE and quite disgusting. The goal is that a restaurant should strive to be consistent. Mina not only fails at this, but doesn't seem to care. In my book this disqualifies her for my business. I am not into taking a 'lottery' approach (except for DiFara's, which is way way better).

              7 Replies
              1. re: NYJewboy

                My experience with Spicy Mina's over time is more like 8 or 9 memorable meals out of 10 visits (with the remaining meals being well above average). Most spots could only dream of such 'inconsistency'. Anyone with a keen appreciation for Indian/Bengali cooking should head over without hesitation. Granted a meal from Mina carries no iron-clad federally-backed guaranty - as if that standard applied to any other spot on this Board! - but you will not regret your visit. It's a treasure and deserves our support.

                1. re: burton

                  anyone have their current address?

                  1. re: kevin

                    It is in the link I attached above.

                2. re: NYJewboy

                  i thought difara's is consisently good?

                  1. re: kevin

                    Sure it is consisently 'good', but it is often 'great'!

                    1. re: NYJewboy

                      A perfect description of Spicy Mina. I have never had disgusting or inedible food at Mina's.

                      1. re: NYJewboy

                        I've finally found a use for Mina's. When I get off the BQE and I see Mina's on the corner I know it's time to make the left for Sripraphai.

                  2. I finally made it to Spicy Mina's. We were there today with four other people. We ordered a lot of food and everything from the bread to a delicate shrimp dish in a sort of frothy yogurt sauce was very good. Cheap it's not, but I found the portions large. I'd say the average price for the entrees was about $15.00.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Claire

                      Is that a huge increase over a few years ago. I haven't been in about three years, but I remember getting a palak paneer, haleem, and a meat dish and it costing under $20 at lunchtime. Aside from the whole fish, I don't remember anything being well over $10.

                      1. re: lambretta76

                        We were there last night, and it was great. It was also nearly full with happy people, which was nice to see. I don't think entrees are $15. We had two appetizers (samosa chat, and those little cups filled with beans), two entrees (saag paneer and chicken korma), onion naan, and two sodas, and the bill was $39.
                        The saag paneer was delicious as always, smoky flavored, not slimy, lots of delectable cheese ahd chili peppers. The chicken korma sauce was so wonderful I wanted to pick up the plate and lick it after it was practically all gone.

                        1. re: lambretta76

                          It was my first time at Spicy Mina's so I don't know if the prices have increased or not. What we ordered--chicken tikka, a chicken curry dish, a lamb dish and a shrimp dish--was in the $15 range. Like I said, the portions are large.