Best Indian Restaurant New York 2009 - Dosa Garden; Southern Spice
SarahDG: If you'd let me, I'd just go on and on about Mumbai Xpress, and even Aamchi Pao, but let's mix it up a bit and talk about the excellent Dosa Garden, which opened last year in Staten Island. RobtS: Hey, no one's stopping you. SarahDG: I know you've been there and totally approve, so don't give me any crap. RobtS: That's the place down the street from the Albanian mosque, right? SarahDG: Yeah, but it specializes in Tamil food. They do the usual iconic South Indian dishes—idli, dosa, vada, and utthappam—better than almost anywhere else. And I also love their Chettinadu curries: thick, chocolate-brown, spice-filled gravies. It turns out that Chettinad, in Tamil Nadu, where the cook is from, is known for very spicy curries. RobtS: Hence their famous chicken curry, right? SarahDG: Get shrimp instead of chicken! That's what the owner likes best. The dosas are totally gorgeous, too, and include a spectacular onion rava masala dosa, made with semolina instead of fermented rice and lentils. It's lacy, embedded with peppercorns, curry leaves, green chilies, and cumin seeds, with fried onions scattered on top. Beat that, Mr. S! RobtS: I'll certainly try. Heck, you can get dosas anywhere. I'd hit Jersey City for those. They have dozens of varieties, including fusion ones made with Velveeta. SarahDG: Yuck! RobtS: My favorite place is Southern Spice in Flushing. SarahDG: Hey, I would have gone, but you beat me to it. RobtS: The meaty South Indian stuff is really where it's at. My mind was blown by the lamb korma loaded down with fresh peppermint. SarahDG: You could brush your teeth with it, I bet. RobtS: I didn't mind the mintiness because it was cut with plenty of cilantro. SarahDG: Just goes to show how diverse Indian food is.