I dont get it. There seem to be three restaurants that chowhounds always love: Sripraphai (64-13 39th Ave, closed Wednesday), Spicy Mina (64-23 Broadway), and Kebab Café (25-12 Steinway St., closed Monday). And yet eight times out of ten, two of the three are empty (Sripraphai being the busy exception).
Kebab Café has so little business I dont think it can survive much longer (despite the fact that the food is better than ever).
Spicy Mina is wonderful. But tonight we were the only ones there. It was delicious. We ordered far too much foodsomewhat on purpose, but the portions are now much bigger than they used to be (with proportional prices to match). Its still a wonderful bargain. And even if it werent . everything is outstanding: Somosa Chat, Halim (saucy lamb and ginger dish), and Mustard Fish. The fish was the standout! Deep fried fish smothered in a onion and mustard seed and ginger sauce (perhaps?).
The food was wonderful. The bill was $78. We were three, but we ordered food for 78. We have a lot of food left to eat.
But Spicy Mina was empty. How can that be? And why should I ever eat alone at Kebab Café (of course, with Ali, youre never really alone)? How can Chowhounds not support two of the three best places in Queens, perhaps all of New York?
Are people afraid theyre too busy? Theyre not. Do people think these great chefs are already rich? I doubt it. Do you think such great food will always be there for you? Not if they dont have business! Go out on a weeknight and spend your money for good food. For those who havent been to either expect great food but have patience. Neither of these places are professional in the Manhattan sense. Theyre both small places with character and great food you cant get anywhere else.
Go to Spicy Mina and Kebab Café. They need us. And think of how sad well be if they close.