I went last night to Tandoor, which is on Queens Boulevard near 63rd drive, and I was reminded how much I love it. It's right next door to Sizzler and Red Lobster and is similarly large. But instead of cafeteria booths and huge color photos of food, inside you find a brightly colored south Asian hideaway. The walls are all painted with funky murals in pastels, there's a huge fake palm tree festooned with lights, and statues of goddesses with big booties are everywhere. The food is excellent, by my standards anyway. They have the best vegetable samosas I've ever had. Rather than dry chunks of potato, this filling has pureed potatoes that serve as a medium for other finely chopped veggies and spices. Cashews make an interesting, crunchy touch. And they're spicy enough to make my nose run. Every entree I've had has been good, especially the rogan josh. Another standout is the vegetable biryani: the veggies are crisp and fresh, and finely chopped fresh mint makes it a light and refreshing compliment to the heavier meat dishes. Yum!
On a more somber note, just after Sep 11 this place had a big fire. Operations only shut down for a short time, but the front of the place was defaced and the sign ruined. Neighborhood rumor has it that it was arson, no doubt some sort of horribly misguided bias attack. Whether or not that's the case, their business was seriously hurt, and I was worried they'd go out of business. The scaffolding is finally gone now, though the huge neon sign isn't back yet, and the place seemed a lot more full. Anyway, this place could use extra support. Come on a field trip to Rego Park and you won't be disappointed! Plus, you can stop by our awesome vegetable stand (63rd and Booth) for some unusual produce on your way home. :)