Walking through northwestern Astoria yesterday, I spotted a few places I'm curious to go back and try. I wondered if anyone is already familiar with them (a search revealed no substantial posts on CH, unfortunately...).
First, Sabri Nihari Grill (21st St., just south of Astoria Blvd.). We stopped in for an anda parantha (egg omlete rolled up in a plain parantha) and cups of chai -- both were well made, though the parantha was a bit heavy on the oil (liberal use of hot green chilis - mirchis - in the egg helped to counteract the greasiness).
Everything was made fresh to order. We watched the cook boil our chai (cardamum, milk, and tea) in a pot on the stove -- old school, patila-wali chai!
The only other customers were a Bangladeshi family, who complained of the lack of "heat" (i.e., spiciness) in their dishes. Sabri Nihari Grill is clearly Pakistani, though. The cook spoke Hindi with us (our first clue), and the house specialty, nihari (a simmered meat dish brought from Northern India to Pakistan after Partition), is a Pakistani favorite (a give-away).
Other interesting menu features: whole goat peshawari style ($300!), chicken kofta with egg, a desert I've never seen before - zarda - and doodh patti (chai boiled in milk, rather than water). The naans coming out of the tandoor and heading straight to table also looked amazing.
Second, Lorusso (26th Road @18th St.). Their specialty seems to be focaccia -- of which they had almost a dozen varieties (with many excellent vegetable versions available!). (They also had some unimpressive whole pizza pies and calzones.)
Small bags of nice-looking taralli (baked on site?) were on display, and jars of homemade pesto and hot sauce were for sale, as well. On the menu under soups: pasta & fagiolo and lenticchia.
Clearly not just another greasy slice joint, but has anyone tried their focaccia? is it worth the trek to try it (we were too stuffed from our enormous anda parantha -- noted above -- to order anything)?
18-01 26th Rd, Queens, NY 11102
Sabri Nihari & Grill
28-02 21st St, Queens, NY 11102