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Polecat | Mar 6, 200904:28 PM     25

After seeing Dave Cook's coverage - photos and all - of the Mumbai Grilled Sandwich (http://www.eatingintranslation.com/20...), I knew a visit was imminent. This week's Village Voice review tore it wide open. Given the great weather, and a recent case of cabin fever, I stole off from work today for an extended lunch, and am already planning a quick return.

Mumbai Express is a modest, small, clean joint. Not all that much bigger than a storefront, maybe ten tables in all, some steam tables up front, various sweets and sodas behind glass, and a flat screen tv showing various Bollywood videos and highlights. Turns out the place has a specific hook - an extensive menu highlighting Mumbai street food. The menu states, "Indian Fast Food."

I went for, of course, the sandwich. That, and the pakora platter for good measure. The pakoras came out first, and were mighty fine, the exteriors very crispy, not too greasy. The Mumbai Grilled Sandwich, on the other hand, this is a whole different animal from anything I've previously experienced. Served up quartered, this thing is piled high with three layers of perfectly toasted bread which work very nicely with the potatos and chutney mix within. Put a little ketchup on there - which I did upon being encouraged by the waiter - and, I swear, you've got something approaching a Mumbai Big Mac. Only - trust me on this - better, much better.

Anyone making the trip out here should cap it by ordering a tall, red, psychedelicized bottle of Hajoon's Kashmiri Soda as well. If you dig your spice, and your carbonation, here it is in one bottle - the taste grew on me. The Limca lime soda is good too.

The proprietor was very friendly and helpful, and chatted me up about his favorite Bollywood movies. When I plugged him on the quintessential Mumbai street food dish, he recommended the Special Pav Bhaji. That's for next time.

Mumbai Express
256-05 Hillside Avenue
Floral Park, NY 11004
718-470-0059
(closed Mondays)

P.

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