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Best Indian in Jackson Heights?

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When I lived in Queens over 10 years ago, Jackson Diner was my favorite restaurant. I'll be in Jackson Heights in a couple weeks and wanted to go back, but I'm getting the impression Jackson Diner has gone down hill lately. Any other suggestions?

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Jackson Diner
37-47 74th St, Queens, NY 11372

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  1. Not sure what help our websites-reports of downhill scaring us.
    And then denials.
    Anyway,my take is that the buffet weekdays at JACKSON DINER is quite impressive - I especially opt for Fridays - close to exceptional. I like very much the complementary Masala Dosa with spectacular dipping sauce - outstanding on its own. I love as well the rice pudding desert.
    Delhi Heights for buffet - the selection is limited compared with JH - but the quality is probably better. As well,right from the oven NAN is fantastic.
    Probably,for dinner,I'd say DELHI HEIGHTS - they are a masterpiece for spectacular and rich spicing.
    Having said that,there will probably not be one person who agrees-life is a bitch1

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    Delhi Heights
    37-66 74th St, Queens, NY 11372

    9 Replies
    1. re: micheal

      personally, i found the buffet at dehli heights to be quite forgettable. the mehfil bufet seems the best in the area, but it still falls short of amazing. not sure if this is really the moment for great indian food in jackson heights, partly as evidenced by the lack of responses to your question. maybe we're just at a moment in time when there aren't great indian restaurants in jackson heights. perhaps most indian diners either eat at home nowdays or just eat snacky food, like chaat, when they're out shopping in jh or prefer indo-chinese food when they go out to dine. but whatever the case may be, it seems that there's been a real dearth in jackson heights of great indian food for quite a few years now. on these boards, southern spice in flushing and ghoroa in hillside get good reviews, but they're obviously not in jh, but might please you nonetheless.

      1. re: yussdov

        Mehfil can be hit or miss for dinner...but their buffet is FANTASTIC. Especially when they have the Fish Tikka. I completely can't get enough of their sweet tomato chutney. I put it on everything.

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        Mehfil
        76-05 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

        1. re: Widmark

          hmm, i went to the Mehfil lunch buffet a couple of months ago (based on some recs here) and thought it was downright mediocre, bordering on awful. Slimy spinach, water chana masala, dried out tandoori chicken. What exactly do you guys think is so good about it? (besides the fish tikka and the tomato chutney)

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          Mehfil
          76-05 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

          1. re: missmasala

            don't care for Mehfil either... Meh is right... Delhi Palace is my go to Indian restaurant in JH, down the block from JDiner and much better. Although admittedly, I haven't been back since I started eating at Southern Spice.

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            Delhi Palace
            37-33 74th St, Queens, NY 11372

            Mehfil
            76-05 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

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

            1. re: Pookipichu

              Mehfil reminds me of home-cooked Indian food. Delhi Palace, in contrast, is your typical Mughlai restaurant, serving imperial style food (read: lots of ghee! and really heavy sauces).

              It's really a matter of taste which one is better. I personally prefer Mehfil.

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              Delhi Palace
              37-33 74th St, Queens, NY 11372

              Mehfil
              76-05 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

              1. re: ravi_queens

                I haven't been to delhi palace so i can't comment on that, but my experience at Mehfil didn't remind me of home-cooked food at all! I make better indian food than that, and so does every other indian member of my family and even my mom, who is not indian but cooks some mean indian food.

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                Mehfil
                76-05 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                1. re: missmasala

                  lucky you.

            2. re: missmasala

              maybe it depends on how early you go? Or what you chose? I didn't care for their tandoori chicken so I skip it. But there's enough other stuff I like.

        2. re: micheal

          i 2nd delhi heights, i think they are the best indian restaurant in nyc for sauces (especially their chicken makhani, tikka masala, etc) but i think there are other restaurants in the area that do a better biryani.

        3. it's not all about buffets, is it? see this thread:
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/697452

          if you want to snack around. otherwise, there are some good choices; karahi and grill, alauddin's, the place across from alauddin's, Haat Bazaar (they finally got some big new signage).

          of course, to go back to buffets, I'll toss out Al Naimat as a sugg. And, Delhi Palace occasionally throws a chaat section onto their buffet which looked damn good (but I haven't had it).

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          Al-Naimat
          37-03 74th St, Queens, NY 11372

          Delhi Palace
          37-33 74th St, Queens, NY 11372

          Haat Bazaar
          37-11 73rd St, Queens, NY 11372

          5 Replies
          1. re: bigjeff

            al naimet was my fav indian buffet but they stopped with the buffet.
            I wouldn't go to any of the buffet places, other than delhi palace for chaat

            1. re: Jeffsayyes

              aw man al naimet stopped their buffet?? they were my favorite too because i knew the guys that worked there. but they weren't the best buffet imo.

              1. re: daffyduck

                Al Naimat may not have had the best buffet but they were very dependable. They were my comfort food place. I was really bummed to see the buffet gone.

                1. re: vinegarhill

                  I just liked them b/c they were the only ones with biryani on the buffet. I'd load up on that. the sweets were a nice addition too.

                  Plus, they were the cheapest.

            2. re: bigjeff

              seems like Karahi and Grill got replaced by a different place:
              http://www.villagevoice.com/2010-09-2...

              the old Karahi and Grill had an exceptional beef behari too. and, they had a chaat stand inside too:
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6359...

              well, that is a little sad; I will check this joint out but Karahi and Grill was one of my favorite places. I'll definitely echo Sarah's comments that it's awesome to hit this cuisine during ramadan; I end up there at very weird random hours when the places are packed!

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              Gourmet Sweets and Restaurant
              72-08 Broadway, Queens, NY 11372

            3. A query - I like high Scoville events rather frequently.
              Have you observed that VINDALOO stuff seems absent from all the places cited here[ie., buffet]?.
              Also,how come fish doesn't feature more for buffet - cheap old tilapia spiced-up INDIAN style is delicious and I doubt it can be all that more expensive than chicken? Also,lamb seems banished as well.

              2 Replies
              1. re: micheal

                Most of the restaurants serve North Indian / Punjabi cuisine and Vindaloo is not a very popular dish in those parts.

                1. re: micheal

                  I have a theory that buffets tend to shy away from spicy dishes, erring instead on the milder, more crowd-pleasing side

                2. The best Indian in Jackson Heights is Dosa Place. I've been to India several times and have traveled quite a bit around the North and South, including Kerala on the West Coast.

                  The Thali at Dosa Place is delicious. They use a lot of unusual vegetables and change it up frequently. It's primarily South Indian food, but the other day they had the best Saag Paneer I've had in the city.

                  It's not the heavy Mughlai cuisine most people are used to, but it's definitely the best India in the city.

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                  Dosa Place
                  35-66 73rd St, Queens, NY 11372

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: aram

                    that's the place that was Dosa Diner, or the other way around? Between 37th and 38th ave on 73rd st? any other specific recs? I've had good meals there but I feel there much be better.

                    1. re: bigjeff

                      its on 73rd between 37th and 35th. i second the thali. seriously good stuff. the chaat menu is seriously underrated too (go for dahi puri or samosa chaat). the dosas are, well, dosas. starch with a side of starch.

                      stick to the veg thali.

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                      Dosa Place
                      35-66 73rd St, Queens, NY 11372

                      1. re: ravi_queens

                        Yeah, it seems like these days you can better south indian or gujarati food in JH than punjabi/north indian. I've had good gujarati veg dishes off the steam table at rajhbog (tho their dosas and idlis, which used to be decent, now suck) good dosa/south indian fare at Dosa Place (tho I prefer the temple canteen in flushing--but why oh why can no one make a decent coconut chutney in new york?) and good snacks/chaat at Maharaja.
                        Tho I still go to JH to shop, eat, and see friends, if I was just traveling to eat indian food I would bypass it and go to flushing. IMHO, southern spice and the temple canteen blow the places in JH out of the water. And for the poster above who was asking about vindaloo, southern spice does an excellent version.

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                        Dosa Place
                        35-66 73rd St, Queens, NY 11372

                  2. Thanks to everyone for your replies. I think I might go the Flushing instead and go to Ganesh Temple canteen. Any recommendations on what to order there?

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: taboulitoo

                      been going there a lot lately. It's so cheap that you can pretty much order tons of stuff and try it all. Are you familiar with this kind of south indian food? Be warned that it's all vegetarian. A few of my faves:

                      1) idli--these are often soggy and gummy at most places, but here they are usually light and fluffy, as good idli should be.
                      2) Upma--like some delicious savory cream of wheat with veggies and nuts in it. try it.
                      3) uttapam--like bigger, thicker, dosas. the ones here are particularly good, i think.
                      4) dosas--these are not superlative here, but we always get one, as my kids love them and they take me back to my youth. I prefer the ones without the masala (potato filling). The masala is delicious, but i just don't like it with my dosa. Sometimes i ask for it on the side.
                      Best of all, the temple canteen kind of feels like being in India, or at least as close as you can get in nyc.
                      I haven't been out to floral park yet, but i hear there's a pretty authentic indian scene out there, too.
                      At the moment, my perfect Indian food outing in Flushing would be stopping at the canteen for some idli/uttapam apps and then moving on to southern spice (a couple of blocks away) for chicken 65, lamb vindaloo, and spinach with dal.

                      1. re: missmasala

                        Floral Park is the 'burbs for Jackson Heights!

                        1. re: missmasala

                          Does anyone know if Southern Spice is now open on Tuesdays?

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

                          1. re: taboulitoo

                            It is closed Tuesdays. I second Missmasala's recommendations. Perfect choices. Their curry crabcakes and chicken biryani are wonderful as well.

                          2. re: missmasala

                            Where can I find good idlis? Any recommendations?

                            1. re: diprey11

                              see my post above. good (tho not great) idlis can be found at the temple canteen in flushing. (tho a couple of times they have been bad there, so be warned.)
                              of course, if you like to eat them with good coconut chutney, then you are out of luck, as that doesn't seem to be an item that one can find in the tri-state area.

                              1. re: missmasala

                                RE, coconut chutney: yeah, that's why I asked. Thank you so much!
                                I was hoping there is something even better out there. Well, I can order chutney in some other place and bring with me, but that would be too much hassle.
                                Also as you noticed. idlis at TC can be soggy sometimes, which might imply they are not quite fresh--hope I am wrong on that one!

                                1. re: diprey11

                                  where can you order the chutney that has better coconut chutney? I've tried every place i know of in queens and manhattan--and a few in jersey--and they all have subpar coconut chutney, tho admittedly some are better than others. If you know of a good place, please share!
                                  i finally bought an idli steamer and buy the fresh batter from patel bros and then make my own chutney--it's better than anything out there, tho the idlis are not as good.

                        2. I went to Jackson Diner this weekend for the first time. My take is that the food is competently prepared and tasty but not exciting. It was a nice meal but I can't say that it was better than other good Indian restaurants I've been to all over the tri-state area. If you're in the area its worth a visit but not a destination on its own.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Bkeats

                            all the places mentioned are passable but i still fall back to my love-- Tah Mahal on Hillside ave in Jamaica--thank god i work a few blocks away.

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                            Taj Mahal
                            148-01 Hillside Ave, Queens, NY 11435

                          2. We had the buffet at Mumbai Grill yesterday, on 74th St. just a couple of doors down from Jackson Diner. I wouldn't call it spectacular, but everything we had was very good, including chicken makhani, saag paneer, goat curry, tawa chicken, onion bhajia, chicken chettinand (which I've never seen on any other buffet in JH), an interesting potato curry, etc. The chicken in the biryani looked dry but the rice was tasty, and there were several other dishes that I didn't get a chance to try, including an okra dish, pancakes with peas, chana dal and several different desserts.

                            The spicing here seemed much more aggressive than at Jackson Diner, which to me always seems a bit bland. Of course, Jackson Diner is generally full of tourists, whereas 90% of the clientele at Mumbai Grill was Indian, so perhaps that's the answer. I also preferred the atmosphere to that of Jackson Diner (which is consistently overcrowded with baby strollers and screaming children). We also like Indian Taj, but the atmosphere and selection are better at Mumbai Grill, so it will probably become our default unless something better comes along!

                            -----
                            Mumbai Grill
                            37-33 74th St, Queens, NY 11372

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: biondanonima

                              How much is the buffet at Mumbai Grill?

                              1. re: AubWah

                                It was $10.95 for lunch, the same price as Jackson Diner and a dollar more than Indian Taj, I believe. A pretty good deal considering that I can't eat for the rest of the day after I go!

                              2. re: biondanonima

                                I happened to be at Mumbai Grill yesterday for their lunch buffet as well (after a frigid visit to the valiant year-round Jackson Heights Greenmarket). My experience was much the same. After several lackluster lunch buffet experiences in the neighborhood recently, this one pleasantly surprised me with some genuinely more aggressive spicing. Several items were quite good, the place is comfortable, and the staff notably warm and welcoming. Nice to see less common buffet items like chole bhature, and hakka noodles. BTW, the lunch buffet is $10.95 on weekends (and holidays), and $9.95 during the week.

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                                Mumbai Grill
                                37-33 74th St, Queens, NY 11372

                                1. re: round2

                                  This is the same space, same owner as delhi palace. I believe the only change is the name of the place.

                                  1. re: Jeffsayyes

                                    I know the sweet shop next door associated with it seems pretty much the same as ever. I didn't have much experience with the restaurant. I wonder if the current menu is some level of an update...

                                    1. re: Jeffsayyes

                                      I've been going to Delhi palace for over a decade and it's always been better than Jackson Diner (and the other smaller places in the area). More aggressively spiced, better buffet options, more authentic, etc. I'm glad that they're still putting out good food under a new name. Their rasmalai is very good in the sweet shop next door.