Tag Archives: dosa

The hidden spot for the best authentic Indian cuisine in NYC

India FlagWe think we have found the best Indian food in NYC – in the basement of a Hindu temple. The Ganesh Temple Canteen (45-57 Bowne St, Flushing, NY 11355)  is tucked into a quiet, residential neighborhood of Queens – you wouldn’t know the temple was there until you drive right up to it and see the ornate architecture up close. In order to reach the canteen, you descend the stairs to the basement, where you are greeted with a vast, simple cafeteria, complete with linoleum floor and buffet line. But don’t let the humble presentation fool you! At almost any part of the day, the cafeteria will be packed with worshipers and non-affiliated neighborhood folks alike. The canteen has been churning out food since 1998, and attracts crowds a all times, even at breakfast.

ganeshcanteenThe focus of the canteen is vegetarian South Indian dishes, in particular: dosas. The vast range of dosas, thin wheat crepes, come with a variety of fillings from spicy potatoes, to lentils and chilis, to paneer cheese. And you’ll be pretty pleased about the prices, too (nothing is over $7). You wait in line to place your order, and while in line you can check out at the menu on a suspended flat-screen TV and consult with the dosa experts in line. There are also a range of appetizers like iddli (steamed rice cake) and vada (savory fried dough) to go with your dosas, as well as a selection of sweets and mango lassis. There are also a few additional temptations while waiting: little boxes of sweet and savory snacks for sale to take away. Looking around the room, you will notice some hints that the restaurant is attached to a Hindu temple, including the prominent statue of Ganesha.

ganeshWe ordered a side of tamarind rice, two masala dosas and a Pondicherry dosa. After no more than 10 minutes, our food came out, fresh off the griddle. Dosas are usually pretty generous in size, and these were no exception. The dosas themselves were butter and flaky, and were completely packed with delicious vegetarian fillings. The potato filling of the masala dosas were perfectly spiced – just the right amount of heat. The Pondicherry dosa was also filled with green chilis and onions, which added an extra kick. We also appreciated the soupy veggie sambar and coconut-yogurt sauce that came alongside. We washed everything down with a mango lassi (which is a bargain at $2 – you may want a second one).masaladosaThe Ganesh Temple Canteen may be a little out of the way for most New York visitors, but it is definitely worth the trip for the great hospitality and the tasty dosas. This is some of the best Indian food we have ever had, and definitely the best we have had in NYC. Plus, you’ll get a huge amount of food for the price! If you stop by, don’t forget to indulge in a mango lassi (or two).

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Dosa paradise on Devon: Udupi Palace

Udupi Palace
2543 W. Devon Avenue
Chicago, IL

Forget the decor, forget the service (both of which were fine) this place is all about dosa. Outrageous, gigantic, gut-busting dosas. We knew we were in the right place when we walked into a restaurant on a Wednesday night and it was absolutely packed. Udupi Palace is a vegetarian restaurant, but there were enough options to please us carnivores just fine. The menu offers a wide range of South Indian dishes including dosas (giant crepes stuffed with filling).

To start out with we had the Udupi Special Assortment with medhu vada (Fried lentil donuts), vegetable samosa,  aloo bonda (potato dumplings), chilly pakora (deep fried chili peppers) (all this for $7). L ordered the  Paper Masala Dosai, filled with potatoes and onions ($6.50). Always on the hunt for spicy foods M ordered the Mysore Masala Dosai ($7.50) filled with hot chutney, potato and onion.

Upon arrival, our outrageous dosai that completely dwarfed the plate. Both wre delicious, though M could have handled a little more spice. But that was quickly fixed with the addition of the array of sauces provided on the table including hot pepper and Matt’s favorite – raita.  Though M and I were wolfing down on dosai, one of our party even veered from the dosai and got some mattar paneer, which also got the thumbs up.

Udupi Palace provided a huge amount of the food for the price – which lasted us 2 meals apiece – and they even packed the sauces to bring home with us. You’ll never look at the simple crepe the same way again.

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