After having passed Student Biryani (Broadway/74 St. vicinity in Jackson Heights) many times, my friend Dan and I decided to try it last night. We checked out the goods behind the counter in the small first-floor area: some rice and chicken, chicken tikka masala, cow feet and the standard dal and sag paneer as well as some unidentifiable meat dishes. The guy behind the counter had us go upstairs. The waiter came to to take our order. However, the place doesn't have menus. So back we went downstairs to order. Dan chose the tikka masala and some chicken and rice biryani. Despite the fact that I had just finished reading the article in Sunday's Times on the cattle industry, I asked for the paya (cow feet) and immediately the waiter tried to steer me toward the fish, I took this a good sign and went with the cow feet.
The cow feet were good, but strange. Very little meat, if any was discernible, in the steaming hot bowl of brownish red stew. On the side was a bowl of with lemons, chopped cilantro, and grated ginger. After a liberal application of the above I dug in. It was unctuous, rich with bits of cartilage, and chunkks of bone. My guess is that they cooked the heck out of the cow feet so that the cartilage turned the whole affair into a rich stew. Dan's tikka masala was probably among the best I've had with a nice lingering heat and a sauce chock-full of spices.
They rotate the dishes and have an afternoon buffet from 12 to 4 I think. At $22 for three entrees it's a pretty good deal too.