As an unapologetic, longtime patron of the Jackson Diner (going back more than 20 years, to its original location), I was beside myself with excitement to learn that a branch would be opening at 72 University Place, a 10 minute walk from my apartment.
I had heard a while back that it would be open in "a few weeks." Last night, enjoying a rare Saturday night off (I'm a musician) with my family, we were in the neighborhood, and I decided to scope out the space. To my utter delight, it had opened that day! It's sort of in a soft opening state right now; the owner (the son of the original location's owner, who's always been a fixture at the Jackson Heights restaurant) said he's waiting a little while to create more publicity/fanfare.
In short, in was an excellent experience - great, fast service and delicious food. While not packed, they were definitely doing some business!
A few random items:
1) The menu is definitely "simplified" - fewer items, and no Southern Indian cuisine (bummer). The owner explained that it's tough to maintain the southern element, both for equipment and personnel reasons.
2) The menu features 16 appetizers, 2 soups, 1 salad, 5 tandoori specials, 8 breads, 13 vegetarian specials, biryanis, accompaniments, and 6 desserts. The one element I'm not crazy about is the "Curry Specials" section. There are 6 proteins (tofu, chicken, goat, lamb, fish and shrimp) that you can order 5 different ways: (masala, curry, sag, korma and vindaloo). A bit too generic for me - I love many of the specific dishes available in Jackson Heights (where are you Murg Tikka Palakhwala, Lamb Pasanda, etc.)? On a positive note, I will day that I ordered chicken korma from this section, and it was pretty much identical to my beloved Murg Korma from the original location. Pertions were perhaps a bit smaller than in Queens, but prices were quite reasonable, especially considering the location.
3) They will be delivering within a few weeks!
4) The lunchtime buffet is up and running.
I don't have time for amore thoroughly detailed post right now, but would be happy to answer any questions any of you might have.
I know the Jackson Diner doesn't get much love on Chowhound these days, but I vehemently disagree with the level of vitriol aimed at it - I have always had great meals and attentive service there, going back 20+ years. I am also not a one-trick pony - I always have, and still do, patronize a wide variety of Indian restaurants in this area and abroad.
In any event, I urge you to give the new location a try - especially since the neighborhood is seriously lacking in quality Indian food and delivery options. The new Jackson Diner is a welcome addition, believe me.
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