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Jun 10, 2009 05:23 AM

jersey city indian?

I hear lots of good things about South Indian food in Jersey City and I'm meeting my friend for dinner on Friday -- any recent experiences on Newark Ave? I found a couple of mixed reviews about Rasoi but nothing too recent.

(We're on public transit)


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  1. Hi Melon -

    Sorry I can't help you.
    I have been living in JC for 2 years now and have always been really curious about the restaurants on Newark, but have never heard anything about any of them!

    I hope you get some responses because I have been craving some good Indian food!


    1 Reply
    1. re: NellyNel

      Okay so I've been doing some research and came up with this one:
      Sri Ganesh's Dosa House
      809 Newark Ave, Jersey City

      Here is a review - Sounds really interesting and not like any Indian I've had (it's Southern Indian and vegetarian)
      "Here, an exceptional restaurant. And *here*, and post from my blog about it--oh, and I forgot to mention that all of this food was $21 total:

      Somehow this week I managed to one-up myself in the yum department. Earlier this month I made jerk chicken like, five times until I got it so right that I keot having dinner parties with different people invited, just to show it off. The week began by my being a guest on Gary Vaynerchuk's Wine Library TV. Since Gary is my hero in wine, attitude, marketing genious, and coolness, this was, of course, the BEST. THING. EVER. You can watch it ( episode #494) any time at

      As if things couldn't get any better, yesterday I had a lunch date with New York City's food royalty, Jesse Sheidlower (OED Editor-at-large and well known NYC foodie) and Robert Sietsema (food writer for the village voice and various other publications).

      Jesse and Bob had arranged for us to be on a certain train, Bob on the platform, and we'd meet at a specific stop and ride to Jersey City to eat at one of the many vegetarian Indian restaurants that line the 800 block of Newark Avenue. Once out of the subway and into the humid light of this late June afternoon, there the three of us were, Jesse looking proper in his khaki suit and blue polka-dotted tie with Oxford wing tip shoes, Bob in brightly colored shorts with vertical stripes and a shirt with horizontal stripes, and me, straight outta Los Angeles with a very casual skirt, tank top, and flip flops.

      We followed Bob, who cheerfully pointed out every building, the nuances of its deterioration, explaining the history of the town like he'd written a thesis on it or something. Every restaurant, bakery, or pub had a story, 'it used to be a this-or-a-that, now it's an Irish bakery with great bread', 'look at that big stone wall that used to be the end of a bridge that doesn't exist any more', 'this block is more Indian, this one more Filipino'.

      We arrived at Newark Avenue, the smells of incense and garam masala wafting subtly at us with a cool breeze or air conditioned air every time we passed by a shop. Bob pointed out all of the restaurants, detailing which ones were which, and we finally stopped at Sri Ganesh's Dosa House, at 809 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07306. The place itself was simple enough, nothing fancy, with numbers on top of veneered tables, that we were meant to pick up and give them with our order, that way, when the food is ready, they'd call our number. Bob pointed out that we'd be eating Southern Indian food, allvegetarian but not Gujarati. We let Bob order for us, and what we hot were Butter Mysone Masala Dosa, Masala Idly, and Upma. What it tasted like was like nothing I've ever tried before, even in my native LA's area of Artesia.

      Jesse and I sat down while Bob got us water and sambal. The Sambal, though related to the Indonesian chili sauce of the same name, was more like a tasty, spicy soup with onions and squash. The Idly was a soft, breadlike textured substance made of ground lentils and rice and topped with fresh cilantro, and served with a coconut relish that would make appearances with the rest of the food, too. The delicious Upma, was sort of like cream of wheat. It had lentils and black mustard seeds in it, and also was topped with fresh cilantro, and served with the coconut relish and a hot red sauce on the side. Bob explained that it, like wheat, was introduced to India by the English.

      Probably my favorite of the dishes, and the restaurant's namesake, was the Dosa, an extremely thin crispy pancake, awesome by itself, and here stuffed with potatoes, that cam with the coconut relish and an unusually fantastic spicy peanut sauce. It was amazing!

      All in all, I felt between Jesse's word knowledge and Bob's food knowledge, I was hanging out with the equivalent of man-cyclopedia's, only they were living breathing, and the opposite of dull, and cursed at their will.

      This was one of the greatest and most informative food adventures ever, and now I can strive to bring this kind of awesomeness to my LA foodie friends. HOORAY!

      Here is the menu : (I know what Dosa is - but not much else!!)

      Good luck!

    2. I've been to Newark Ave. twice in the last two weeks. I had a pretty good meal at Krishna Cusine, but a spectacular one at Sri Ganesh's Dosa House (not to be confused with the Dosa Hut, also on Newark). Here are some of the reasons why I'm excited about it:

      1. The onion rava dosa might be my favorite dosa I've ever had. The dosa, like everything but the very good lemon rice that we ordered, tasted fresh.

      2. The dosas and uttaphams come not only with the usual sambar (standard issue but made in-house), and aa much better than average coconut chutney but an addictive spicy tomato chutney, made with three different chilies and thickened with peanuts, giving it a creamy consistency. I couldn't stop eating the tomato chutney, and the manager was more than happy to keep providing me with more.

      3. A very good chili/onion/coriander uttapham.

      4. An excellent thali, with simply prepared vegetable dishes that didn't run together. the dal was and a tomato dish were particularly good.

      5. Prices are very low. There is no waiter service. Order at the front desk and then claim a table. Your table number will be called out and you pick up the food. We ordered enough food for six and the total bill (with soft drinks) came to $41. Dosa House is reputed to have excellent coffee, but we didn't try it.

      In my opinion, the food surpassed Chennai Garden, Saravanaas, Pongal, or any of the usual suspects in Queens or Manhattan. For those of you who haven't been to Newark Ave., there is a large Patel Brothers store (not as big as the one in Jackson Heights, but on my trips, even more crowded), many sweets and other food stores (including many Halal butchers), at least two pan stands, and a place that sells fresh sugar cane juice.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Dave Feldman

        I recently had a spicy cheese onion uttapam at Sri Ganesh's Dosa House and enjoyed it a lot. It was a bit greasy but very tasty, extremely filling, and very very spicy. The cheese resembled Cheez Whiz, but I liked it anyway, although I wonder if they have any better cheeses. Maybe next time I will try one without cheese. That chili onion coriander one sounds good, but first I'll have to try a dosa. I don't normally like dosas, but I had a really great one at a neighboring restaurant (I wish I could remember where, and in any case, it may have changed its name) on Newark Ave. a few years ago, and that changed my attitude towards dosas.

        This was a lot fresher than the food I ate at Saravanaas a few months ago (although I didn't have an uttapam at Saravanaas).

        1. re: Ike

          Rasoi is a big miss for me. I just moved out of JC, but tried Rasoi a few times and was underwhelmed. I MAJORLY heart the chicken malai from Mitali in the city (east village). OMG sooooo good, just thinking about it makes me want it.

          Try if you are looking for reviews - they have a food board.

          1. re: Ike

            The rava dosas are really good at Dosa House. If you don't like dosas in general, you might prefer rice flour to lentil flour -- I usually do. the tomato chutney is so good that it wouldn't occur to me to have a stuffed dosa (cheese or potatoes). One real deficiency at DH is the sambar, which is watery and undistinctive. But the tomato chutney and coconut chutneys are so good, it isn't a problem.

        2. I'd recommend Sapthagiri. It's all-vegetarian. They have dosas and other South Indian specialties as well as North Indian dishes. I went there last night and was impressed by the flavors & freshness. We ordered the Iddly and Vada app, had the house specialty dosa with cheese filling (it was fresh grated, not melted), a Saag Paneer (which was very good - not too oily), and a mixed vegetable curry (which had a nice amount of kick).

          The ambience is pretty casual, but a step above the nearby fast-food joints with formica tables and harsh fluorescent lighting.