December 30, 2009

Delhi Palace

My trip to get Indian food with Carlota had me wanting it again, very soon, so we made plans to hit up Jackson Heights (a neighborhood in Queens, NY famous for its Indian food, among other things) on a chilly night, just days before Christmas. Jackson Heights is THE place for Indian food in NYC, according to a lot of people, and it had long been on my List, the ever-changing, ever-growing counting of places where this girl has gotta eat. One thing or another always came up and my previous plans to go fell through time and again. Not this time! I met Carlota in her hood and we hopped back on the 7 train one more stop to Jackson Heights. We walked the brightly-lit streets for a few chilly minutes until we found the place Carlota knew: Delhi palace.

It was a bit early for dinner, so most places were fairly empty. When we walked in, there were only two other tables occupied at the moment. We sat down, still shivering, and browsed through the menus. As a grammar geek, I enjoyed some of phonetic translations--check out the ingredients to the 'blady mary' (bloody mary): I believe 'watch ester' sauce is supposed to be "Worchestershire" sauce..I think "watch ester" might be more appropriate considering how we pronounce it!

We started with some vegetarian samosas (above) and some poori (seen a few paragraphs above, next to the rice photo), that fried, oh-so-delicious bread that I know is certainly not healthy, but yummy as all heck. I don't normally order it, but Carlota twisted my arm ;) and I went along with her. It was really tasty and went quickly...I even liked it better than the naan bread (and I love naan!)

I wasn't sure what to get, so I ended up going with the Chicken Tikka Masala, which is the baseline dish I compare at all Indian restaurants. This was just okay to me. The tomato sauce wasn't as spicy or flavorful as I'm used to--it reminded me of a thicker marinara, actually!

Carlota picked the lamb korma for her entree, and I was expecting a sauce along the lines of the cracktastic Chicken Korma sauce we had at Cafe Spice. However, this one was bright green, jam-packed with cilantro, and while different, still amazingly good. I instantly wished I'd picked this!

Despite the amazing amount of food we consumed, we still thought we'd try dessert, and we were DEFINITELY getting the masala chai, a spice-infused tea that is fragrant and delicious. We ordered the kulfi, which is Indian-style ice cream, and it came topped with some curious additions. There was some rose-petal infused sauce on top which I couldn't handle--anything rose-infused tastes like soap to me. The little beads on top, the manager later told us, are basil seeds that have been soaked in water. They are supposed to aid in digestion. After all that food we ate, we needed all the help we could get!

The manager and staff were quiet friendly and checked on us often, and at the end of our meal, brought us this dessert 'on the house.' However, we were so beyond stuffed at this point that all I could manage was a polite bite, and even that was pushing the limits of my stomach! It was very nice of them, and I felt bad that I couldn't eat more of it, but dear Lord, even I have limits!

Did I mention this was definitely Cheap Eats? Our bill, including a glass of wine each, apps, entrees, dessert, and tea, PLUS a very generous tip, came to about 40 bucks TOTAL!!! Sweet! Afterwards, we wandered the streets and shops, admiring the saris, checking out some music, and enjoying the holiday lights. I'm so glad I FINALLLLLLLY made it out to Jackson Heights, and I can't wait to go back and visit a new place!

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