My husband and I discovered a market called Kalustyan's when we first lived in the city, over thirty years ago, however, they have been a staple on Lexington Avenue since 1944. It is a terrific place to find all kinds of interesting Middle Eastern and Indian ingredients at very low prices, but it was not until recently that I learned that they are also the owners of Curry In a Hurry, just around the corner. Since the 1970s, the restaurant has been a lunchtime staple in Curry Hill, as this neighborhood is known. With a large buffet, complimentary unlimited salad bar, outdoor tables and chairs and upstairs seating that overlooks the street, local residents and workers have more than enough reason to return on a regular basis.
For the busy worker on a short lunch break in the area, Café Deli-Cious may be the best deli option for a quick, healthy, reasonably priced midday meal. Like its surrounding counterparts, Café Deli-Cious serves the requisite brewed coffees and teas, and sells a wide variety of energy bars, chips, soft drinks, and other snacks. The main difference here is the café’s unusually large, diverse, and superbly clean salad bar and buffet. Fresh greens and vegetables, grilled chicken and roasted meats, rice dishes and multiple soup options provide even finicky eaters with many options for an on-the-go lunch.
Pinch Food Design is dedicated to top-quality, unexpected, and unconventional catering. The chefs at Pinch seek to “redefine the art of celebration” with an interesting food presentation and “unpredictable” dishes. Events hosted by Pinch are notable for their open chef’s tables where guests can watch and taste the caterer’s creations, interactive food stations, bite-sized buffets, and beautiful plating. Some examples are their unique p-shaped plates, which are designed to rest atop cocktail glasses, so that diners can use a fork while holding their drink; custom designed utensils that combine the “shallow bowl of a spoon” on one end “with the pin-like end of a skewer” on the other.
B& B is about good, simple food with no frills. The dishes are African and Caribbean (from Guinea, Senegal and Jamaica), but the clientele is incredibly diverse with NYC's cab drivers stopping by at every hour of the day. The food is served buffet style, so guests are welcome to wander through and choose between the flavorful stewed meats, jerk chicken, vegetables and crispy buns - and after weighing the food, prices are rounded down to the nearest dollar. For those who are soccer enthusiasts, grab a chair and join the four brothers who run B& B, and watch the games on their two flat screens.
Chola takes its name from the powerful South Indian dynasty that ruled for over 1, 500 years — an appropriate title given that its founder, Indian entrepreneur Shiva Natarajan, built a culinary empire of his own. In addition to Chola, Shiva established twenty-three restaurants in New York, all inspired by his abiding passion for his home country’s cuisine. With such a vast domain, it is little wonder that he sought a partner to keep his businesses running. Fortunately, Min Bhujel, who left Nepal in 2006 to find new opportunities in the States, proved the ideal companion to ensure Chola’s success and serve as general manager for ten of Shiva’s establishments. Though Min, his wife, and their son, Nischul Bhujel, now run Chola as a family business, Shiva’s contribution remains essential. “Mr. Shiva guides us through all the spices and reminds us that the focus must always be on the food, ” said Nischul. Shiva traveled throughout India to educate himself on the authentic preparation methods and ingredients used in different regions. He then funneled his extensive knowledge and recipes directly into Chola. Specializing in cuisine from both northern and southern India, Chola places a strong emphasis on its seafood-rich coastal dishes, with various delectable fish fries, curries, and roasts. Equally as important, the restaurant is recognized for its hospitality. “We take care of this place like it’s our home and treat our guests like dear friends. "