Ananda Bazaar, a new South Asian grocery in a neighborhood that's deep in them, is making a strong first impression. It lays out an appealing selection of produce and raises the bar with house-made roti and other griddled flatbreads, CitySpoonful reports. The roti are marvelous, "like my Punjabi mom-in-law's," she says: thin, soft, flavorful, and free of grease. They're right up there with those from Tawa Food, a nearby hound haunt, but cheaper at five for a buck-something. You'll find them, along with house-made paratha, in unlabeled plastic bags near the checkout counter.
At missmasala's house, paratha is the bread of choice, especially the potato-filled variety. She'll soon be checking out Ananda's, particularly since one of her best sources, Queens wholesaler Delicious Foods, has gone downhill lately, turning out thicker, tougher breads than the ones Chowhounds once loved.
In the meantime, missmasala's regular rotation includes both frozen potato paratha from the big Patel Brothers supermarket, just up the street from Ananda, and packaged takeout ones from Tawa—which unfortunately aren't the equal of the mind-blowing breads made to be eaten at the shop. But Tawa's chicken paratha hits the spot either way: Even packaged and reheated at home, she says, it's pretty delicious.
Ananda Bazaar [Jackson Heights]
37-49 74th Street (between 37th and Roosevelt avenues), Jackson Heights, Queens
Tawa Food [Jackson Heights]
37-38 72nd Street (near Broadway), Jackson Heights, Queens