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Pakistani finds and helpful cabbies


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Pakistani finds and helpful cabbies

jake pine | Apr 5, 2003 06:19 PM

So I’m sitting at Botanica on Houston last Tuesday and a friend asks me where he can get something to eat. It’s 1 in the morning, and I was having trouble thinking of anything. Then I remembered Lahore on Crosby. I told him it might not be open, but it’s a cab place so it might be open all night. We went and it was open, turns out it is a 24/7 place.

I got a spicy vegetable dish over rice, my friend got some lamb with roti and chickpeas over rice. We both got a samosa and some tea. Everything was delicious and some of the best late night food that can be had.

When we left, we decided to go to our respective homes to eat the food while it was hot rather than taking the train, so we got into a cab waiting at the light. The cabbie had been in Lahore with us and started asking how we knew about it and talking about his favorite spots in NYC for authentic (his word, not mine) Pakistani/Indian food.

His favorite was out on Coney Island avenue, but Lahore was his favorite in Manhattan. His suggestion was to order whatever was on top of the counter as it was probably the freshest and most ordered. He said the chicken curry is great and the tea is especially good because it is made in a pot on the stove. The only problem with Lahore is since there are no open flames, the roti is not made fresh, he suggested getting everything with rice.

I asked him for some other places. I went today to his other favorite in Manhattan today, a place on the east side on 9th Avenue between 36th and 37th. I asked the guy behind the counter to give me whatever was good and spicy, but as the cabbie said, the roti was what was special at this place. Freshly made, fluffy and flavorful, I smelled it the whole way home. The food was delicious, tasting strongly of cardamom, ginger, cloves and pepper.

Obviously, I have not really delved into either spot enough, I’ve been to Lahore several times and this place on 9th just once, but I am happy to find places like this. It’s also great having a long conversation with a cabbie that results in some great finds.

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