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Restaurants & Bars

Manhattan Indian

indian bread co. / indian cabbie spot on essex st.

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indian bread co. / indian cabbie spot on essex st.

queue | Jan 10, 2004 05:25 PM

walking down bleecker st. on wednesday, i noticed this new spot just east of 6th avenue. then later that day i discovered that it had received a little mention in the times dining section that very day. feeling that this was an omen too powerful to ignore, i decided to check it out.

this place is a supercute, mostly takeout spot that has indian and indian-fusion items at pretty low prices. let me say that the people who run this place are so nice! and everything is made fresh to order -- including the indian breads.

thursday for lunch i had a lamb keema paratha ($4.95) which is a paratha stuffed with ground lamb flavored with garam masala and other spices. it comes with a little bit of raita. yum! i also got a free sample of their chai, which was excellent.

saturday afternoon i went back for a snack. the women up front remembered me from thursday and greeted me warmly -- how nice is that! i wasn't too hungry so i ordered the cheapest thing on the menu, an egg & onion kathi roll ($2.50). quite tasty. (the kathi rolls at nearby kathi roll co. are probably a little better -- with a spicier hot sauce and more tender bread -- but also significantly greasier. this was very flavorful and nearly greaseless, which is a big plus in my opinion when you're looking for something quick, cheap, and small and you don't want a slice of pizza. i would prefer a hotter hot sauce though.).

the menu contains other delights that i intend to explore, such as naanini (indian-fusion panini on naan bread) and naanwiches (a stuffed pita/middle eastern style sandwich with indian flavorings in naan bread) and two different styles of chaat. i'll probably go to this place a lot for lunch because it's pretty cheap, pretty good, and the people who run it are just so nice. oh, and it's open late, till 1 am on weekends and 11 pm on weekdays.

in other indian-food news, last night i went to the cabbie spot on essex just above rivington. sorry, i just can't remember the name. this was a choice made out of desperation after spending an extended happy hour at the bar on the corner. we needed to go out and get some food we could bring back, and it was too damn cold to walk far! i had never come here before because you have to order full plates of food, which cost about $7, and i never want to spend that much money on cabbie-style food, also the quantity is much greater than i could ever eat in one sitting. but last night i had people with me, so my two friends and i got one order of lamb vindaloo, which was a massive plate of food -- enough for three of us to share. the lamb itself was on the tough and chewy side, though it was flavorful and certainly not rank or gristly in any way. i was totally shocked by the quality of the vindaloo sauce, which was much better than expected. it actually tasted pretty delicious and was spicy as hell. this was far better than your average cabbie spot -- or so it seemed to us at the time. we had our vindaloo with rice but others had big piles of fluffy naan, which looked really good. i would not make this a destination spot or anything but if you find yourself looking for cheap food after having a few drinks on the les, or if you live down there and fancy some cheap indian takeout for dinner, i would definitely give this place a try.

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