HOME > Chowhound > Outer Boroughs >

Discussion

Help needed: visiting Ganesh Temple canteen in Flushing tomorrow

  • 7
  • Share

We're going to the Ganesh Temple in Flushing tomorrow afternoon, and I have no idea what to order. I don't know enough/anything about South Indian food! It's all been northern for me. What's good there? What should I try? Open to most anything, of any spice level.

Also, bonus round: we're taking our curious 15 month old! What would make good finger food? His favorite thing in the world is chana masala, so he's open to spice and flavor, but not too much heat.

Finally, anything nearby that we should grab as take-out to bring home for later? We live in boring, boring Chelsea and would love to bring back some supplies.

Thanks!

-----
Ganesh Temple Canteen
45-57 Bowne St, Queens, NY 11355

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. The place will probably be crowded tomorrow with lots of locals and regulars - the best advice I can give you is don't be bashful. You're likely to be standing on line with a lot of people, so ask their opinions.

    My two cents? I've most recently enjoyed the rava masala dosa. nice combination of crisp and chewy. the pondicherry version might have more heat, though. for the kid? either a plain or butter dosa sided with chutney and their wonderful, spicy sambar or an order of vada. mango lassis will run you a buck.

    I hit up this place often - as much for the experience of being in a sub-street level cafeteria sitting under the watchful eye of a larger-than-life Ganesh figure as for the food, which is decent, simple South Indian fare. When the thought of going to work is too much for me, I hit up this place along the way, and nice cup of madras coffee or masala tea takes the edge off.

    Here's some more coverage on Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/ganesh-temple...

    Enjoy.
    p.

    1. I'd echo Polecat's suggestions in all respects. As for take-out, Southern Spice is a few blocks away on 45th Avenue and offers a number of exceptional preparations (Indian, mostly Hyderabadi). Be sure to order off the menu as opposed to the buffet and note they sometimes close for a few hours in late afternoon. Directly across the street is Bownie Restaurant, a small, simple Sri Lankan place that usually will prepare a truly delicious fish curry (though I was somewhat less excited about most other dishes I've had there to date). Two superb options within minutes of the Temple.

      -----
      Southern Spice
      1635 Hillside Ave, New Hyde Park, NY 11040

      Bownie
      143-05 45th Ave, Queens, NY 11355

      1 Reply
      1. re: burton

        Hear, hear re Bownie. Consistently excellent, and just about the most underrated joint in the whole borough. Recently tried their Kulthi Idiyappam and loved it.
        p.

        -----
        Bownie
        143-05 45th Ave, Queens, NY 11355

      2. I don't think the temple canteen has the most outstanding south indian food in the city, but it is a fun place to visit and you'll have a good time.
        My kids love south indian food, tho they love spicy and a lot of it does have some heat.
        If your kid loves chana masala, you could get him the chana (or chole) batura, a staple on most south indian menus (not sure if they have it at the canteen, but i think they do). It's basically chana masala served with a large fried bread (like a puri but bigger).
        Other kid pleasers are the idli (steamed rice/lentil cakes) and the plain dosa (same batter, but fried like a crispy pancake). Dosas also come with a potato filling, but the filling might be too hot for him.
        Idli and dosa (and uttapam-a third similar thing that is like a thicker pancake) come with coconut chutney and sambar--a hot and spicy lentil soup. The sambar might be too hot but the chutney should work for the little one. There are also wadas, spicy fried donut-like things, but again they might be too hot for him.

        In terms of take-out, dosa doesn't reheat well, but idlis do, if you end up liking those. And both the sambar and the chutney keep for a few days. Also, i think the canteen sells some packaged snacks that might be interesting.

        BTW--if you decide you like this kind of food, good versions of it can be found much closer to your home in manhattan's little india--particularly at saravannas bhavan on lexington and 27th (or is it 26th?) st.

        Also, I noticed that a poster above mentions Southern Spice. We love this restaurant, but be forewarned that the food here is very spicy. Still, if you like spicy, I would recommend getting an order of the chicken 65 to take out--it tastes better the next day anyway. At the moment, this is my son's favorite dish on the planet!

        Enjoy your outing!

        -----
        Southern Spice
        1635 Hillside Ave, New Hyde Park, NY 11040

        1. Thanks all! Your suggestions helped a lot, and we had a great time. A longer walk than I expected from the subway, but it was fun. The baby loved the butter dosa, the iddly, and the vada -- he's into carbs -- and I loved the rest, along with the friendly crowd.

          Unfortunately Southern Spice was closed for their afternoon break, but we're going to trek back! And I've fallen in love with coconut chutnet, so we'll be hitting some spots closer to home.

          -----
          Southern Spice
          1635 Hillside Ave, New Hyde Park, NY 11040

          1. Southern Spice is my favorite Indian of any kind in NYC. If I were you I would get dosas at the Ganesh Temple canteen for starters and then go to SS for the REAL meal.

            -----
            Southern Spice
            1635 Hillside Ave, New Hyde Park, NY 11040

            1. Next time, take the Q27 bus from Main St./Roosevelt Avenue to the Temple.

              -----
              Ganesh Temple Canteen
              45-57 Bowne St, Queens, NY 11355