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Southern Indian in Elmhurst/Jackson Heights

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Any suggestions for good, authentic Southern Indian food in Elmhurst or Jackson Heights?

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  1. Howabout the temple canteen, Dosa Hutt and Southern Spice in Flushing? Not JH or Elmhurst, but arguably better than the options there.

    Otherwise though not your stereotypical South Indian dosa and iddly fair, there's Deccan Kebab in JH. The best Hyderabadi food I've had in NYC, but nothing truly extraordinary.

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

    Dosa Hutt
    45-63 Bowne St, Queens, NY 11355

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

    Deccan Kabab
    74-06 37th Rd, Queens, NY 11372

    2 Replies
    1. re: JFores

      Agree with the Temple canteen as the best south Indian in Queens. Last time I went past (about 2 weeks ago) Dosa Hutt was closed. It looked like they were doing renovations.

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      Dosa Hutt
      45-63 Bowne St, Queens, NY 11355

      1. re: JFores

        Based on the goat biryani I had this weekend, I can definitely get behind Deccan Kebab. The basmati was very fragrant, the goat meat extremely tender, flavorful and juicy, loved how some small strands got caught up with the rice. And there was plenty of it also. The naan was also excellent, right out of the tandoor - chewy and billowy on top with a beautiful char on the bottom.

        Nice owner, too. The street window view affords a look down the block to the defunct Eagle Theatre awning. That's my kind of ambience.

        P.

      2. what about Dosa Place on 73rd. In the past the restaurants in that location have been reliable though not stellar Does Jackson Diner still make an acceptable dosa? While it has been years since we have been there, their dosa was still ok even though the buffet cratered.

        Jackson Hts is not very Hindu and m and is not the destination for South indian, anymore, though. If you are in manhattan you can scratch the itch at Saravanaas Bhavan

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

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

        7 Replies
        1. re: jen kalb

          I recently went back to Dosa Place for the first time in years (or in the past it was Dosa Palace or some other name!), and the food was great. The service, less great, but the food was good.

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

          1. re: jen kalb

            I had a horrific meal at Dosa Place about a year ago -- oily, heavy, tasteless food...not worth the cholesterol! Maybe things have improved since then, but it seemed like the owners (or at least the front of the house staff) were all N. Indians (Punjabis maybe?), which is not a good sign.

            Ditto for Jackson Diner -- though that was about 3 years ago. I still haven't been back. The place is simply a tourist trap!

            If good S. Indian is what you want, take JFores's suggestion and head to the Ganesh Temple canteen. I was just there this past weekend and the food was better than ever. In the past, I've found the canteen's food to be tasty, but often very heavy (too much ghee!). But the food was much less greasy and still very tasty.

            We tried the new spicy hyderabadi dosa and really liked it: a thin, oil-free dosa shell lined with coriander chutney, and eaten with cooked, spiced potatoes (on the side). Even the onion chili uttapam was way lower on oil than usual, and it came with a very tasty avial (coconutty vegetable goodness!). I enjoyed the besibelibath (sp? -- rice, daal, and veggies cooked with spices) and raita, and my Indian mother-in-law loved her idli sambar. We washed it all down with a nice hit of rasam at the end, followed by oh-so-smooth masala coffee.

            Unless you go to out to the Jersey suburbs (...or Silicon Valley!!), you won't find better S. Indian food in this hemisphere.

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

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

            1. re: CitySpoonful

              At least historically, the restaurant in the Dosa Place space was gujarati-owned, and you could get good gujarati thalis there, in addition to good dosas. But it seems to have changed ownership/name again, now Dosa Delight. History may be irrelevant and a current report is needed if anyone is brave enuf. From Brooklyn its so much easier to get to Saravanaas Bhavan and the NY Dosa cart that the trek to Flushing is rarely taken. Is the food at the Canteen better than those places?

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

              1. re: jen kalb

                I like the Ganesh Canteen food better than Saravanaas Bhavan. I find Saravanaas Bhavan to be overly oily and low on flavor (and overpriced -- nothing on the Canteen's menu is over $9 -- and that's the huge weekend thali!). The canteen food can be heavy at times (although on my visit last weekend it wasn't), but it's also really tasty!

                My only complaint about the canteen (aside from the occasional oiliness) is that it has consistently poor coconut chutney -- watery and low on taste. Saravanaas has nicer chutneys.

                Are you referring to the Dosa cart near Washington Sq.? If so, then yes -- definitely better dosas at the Ganesh Canteen than at that dosa cart!

                I'm curious about Dosa Place -- had no idea it was Gujarati food at one time? When we went a year ago (roughly) everyone was speaking Punjabi (waiters and front managers)...

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

                1. re: CitySpoonful

                  It used to be owned by the same group that owns Vatan, then Dimple - but obiously their Guajarati days are over.

                  1. re: CitySpoonful

                    In the past I have found the canteen to be inconsistent, but haven't been for a while, so perhaps I'm due for a visit. Saravannas, on the other hand, is usually very consistent, so it's been a top choice for me, too. Not to mention, I'm all about the coconut chutney and theirs is better--tho on occasion the one at the canteen has been decent. (why is it so hard to get good coconut chutney with your dosa in the nyc area?) the iddli and sambar at the canteen are usually very good, even if the other things are off.
                    I can't say i've really noticed any difference in oiliness between places, but I'm also not the kind of person who notices that kind of thing. Would probably be better for my waistline if i did, tho.

                2. re: CitySpoonful

                  Hi Spoonful,

                  In defence of the Temple Canteen and oodles of ghee, that is their method, and a certain Indian sensibility of a certain sort, of demonstrating good faith to the customer. The more ghee that can be shoehorned into something, the more "honest" the establishment, and "good value" + "goodness" for your money.

                  This is EXACTLY equivalent the practice found in some US segments of the F& B industry where piling on the cheese in gargantuan, sickening proportions, is all good. So is the bacon in some parts of the country, or even butter, as in the butter burger, WI.

                  Come to think of it, haute cuisine is also an orgy of butter, whether or not you notice it: mother sauces, sauces mounted with, and the sheer amount of fat used in cooking and in pastry making. I am amazed at the absurd whine about "Indian" sweets being "too sweet" for the Western palate. I have been a professional cook, at various times in my life; and, I would be happy to have such absurdly prejudiced people measure out the exact amounts of sugar per portion of French cakes with icing etc. and equivalent portions of a wide range of Bengali sweets, for example. Seeing is believing!! The same with "grease"!!

                  It all depends on what "good" is, our natal prejudices and taste memories counting for a lot.