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Paowalla - Floyd Cardoz


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#1 joethefoodie

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 08:24 PM

I was going to just put this in the "curious" thread, but since food from the Indian subcontinent seems to draw passionate discussion, maybe this will be the place that knocks Indian food lovers' socks off.

 

Flo Fab:

 

 

In the five years since he closed Tabla, the chef Floyd Cardoz has cooked at North End Grill and opened Bombay Canteen in Mumbai, India. Now he is back in New York with a restaurant he describes as “more Indian than Tabla.” Its focus is the food of Goa on India’s west coast, where he grew up, which is notable for its Portuguese influence. Take the name: Pao are Portuguese buns, usually made with cheese. Here they look like elongated Parker House rolls and can be ordered with fillings, in the street-food style called wada pao. Much of the menu adapts local seasonal ingredients to Indian dishes, like fried squash blossom pakoras. Pork dishes include ribs vindaloo and a sausage and bacon biryani that suggests fried rice. There’s a bread bar in the middle of the simply decorated room, which Mr. Cardoz said is meant to suggest his grandmother’s house. “It had a yellow front, just like we have here,” he said:195 Spring Street (Sullivan Street), 212-235-1098,paowalla.com.

 

 

 



#2 Wilfrid

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 09:13 PM

White Street got lost there.

 

ETA:  No, what really got lost is Tabla Bread Bar.  Hugely popular.



#3 Sneakeater

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 09:14 PM

It'll be interesting to compare this to the great Indian Accent.
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#4 mongo_jones

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 01:36 AM

i expect this will be a much more grounded menu.


my annoying opinions: whisky, food and occasional cultural commentary

 

current restaurant review: house of curry (sri lankan in rosemount, mn)

 

current whisky review: glen ord 28

 

current recipe: white bean curry with green peppers

 

 

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#5 Sneakeater

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Posted 02 August 2016 - 10:04 PM

I guess what this is most like, out of everything Chef Cardoz has done so far, is Bread Bar -- but with a more substantive menu.

 

It's definitely Indian (unlike Tapestry).  There are some fusiony elements, but it isn't fancified fusion like at Tabla (upstairs), and it also leans more Indian.  It's more rough-and-ready.  And it certainly isn't the nose-dive into international fine-dining that Indian Accent is.  In fact, it isn't "fine dining" at all.  It's a casual restaurant serving casual food.

 

It's in the Mezzogiorno space on the corner of Spring and Sullivan in Soho.  There's a bar when you walk in, then a dining counter, then a dining room.  In a stupid instance of ideology over physical reality, I insisted on sitting at the counter rather than a table -- even though the counter is in front of the open oven, and it was sweltering outside.  Don't do that yourself.  It'll be nice in the late fall.

 

They lean heavily on that oven.  It's where the bread comes from that, as the restaurant's name suggests, is a real feature here.  It's the source of a constant stream of vindaloo pork ribs -- Chef Carcoz's recommended dish -- which are devoured here like ducks at La Tour d'Argent.

 

I thought the food was good.  Like not mind-boggling or anything, but very tasty and satisfying.  I started with the scrambled egg on toast under a layer of cheddar and coconut/garlic chutney.  Not the height of elegance, but a good, craveable dish.

 

For my main, I couldn't resist the Hyderabadi roast goat, very well flavored with a curry rub, nice salad on the side.   The goat was moist, tasty, no bone shards.

 

And what Chef Cardoz later told me was his favorite dessert, a Goan bebinka -- a kind of layered pudding -- with plums in port.  I very much recommend this.

 

The word "tasty" recurs a lot here.  I think that's kind of the point of this place:  what it's aiming for, and what it achieves.

 

Easier to understand than Tapestry, if less interesting.  And the cooking is less fine.  But very compelling.  You want to go back.


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#6 Wilfrid

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 06:14 PM

Maybe everyone else knows, but I just noticed he has a new book (April, anyway) called Flavorwalla, and my sensitive antennae detect a tie-in.



#7 Orik

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Posted 05 August 2016 - 07:59 AM

You wouldn't know, but the appropriate response to your observation is "Walla?"

http://www.haaretz.c...remium-1.588658
sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#8 Suzanne F

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 06:09 PM

Couldn't read the Ha'aretz story (subscription required), but am I right in assuming they are not talking about "walla" as one who sells food, as in chaiwalla and tiffin walla ? So paowalla is simply one who sells breads.


I don't actually know what a handbasket is -- but whatever they are, singer-songwriters are in the first ones going to hell. -- Sneakeater, 29 March 2018 - 12:06 AM

 

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#9 Sneakeater

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 07:52 PM

Of course.

 

The Ha'artetz item -- which somehow I could read without a subscription (you must have missed the last meeting of the World Control Committee) -- just said that currently, in Israel, "walla" is slang for "what, really?"


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#10 mongo_jones

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 12:48 AM

Couldn't read the Ha'aretz story (subscription required), but am I right in assuming they are not talking about "walla" as one who sells food, as in chaiwalla and tiffin walla ? So paowalla is simply one who sells breads.

 

"walla/wallah" is a suffix simply denoting "person (who is associated with the other part of the term"). so we are all mouthfuls-wallahs and most of you are new york-wallahs. someone who drives a rickshaw is a rickshawalla. a milkman in north india is a dudhwala (where "dudh"=milk).


my annoying opinions: whisky, food and occasional cultural commentary

 

current restaurant review: house of curry (sri lankan in rosemount, mn)

 

current whisky review: glen ord 28

 

current recipe: white bean curry with green peppers

 

 

facts are meaningless. you could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
~homer simpson


 


#11 Orik

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 11:04 AM

walla


sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#12 mongo_jones

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 02:41 PM

walla walla.


my annoying opinions: whisky, food and occasional cultural commentary

 

current restaurant review: house of curry (sri lankan in rosemount, mn)

 

current whisky review: glen ord 28

 

current recipe: white bean curry with green peppers

 

 

facts are meaningless. you could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
~homer simpson


 


#13 Suzanne F

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 05:58 PM

That's sweet.


I don't actually know what a handbasket is -- but whatever they are, singer-songwriters are in the first ones going to hell. -- Sneakeater, 29 March 2018 - 12:06 AM

 

notorious stickler -- NY Times
deeply annoying and nitpicking -- Molly O'Neill, One Big Table


#14 Wilfrid

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 12:07 AM

Yeah, Cardoz being product walla in this context.

Walla? Yeah. :)

#15 rozrapp

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Posted 17 September 2016 - 03:02 PM

We had dinner at Paowalla two days ago (Thursday).  We ordered the following:  goat cheese stuffed Squash Blossom Pakoras with Boodies Ketchup; Rosemary Naan; Black Spiced Chicken for two or more which comes with Kokum Jus, Boodies Sunday Basmati Pilaf, Zucchini Chilifry, and Croutons; and Grilled Pineapple with Vanilla Bean Black Pepper Syrup.  Michael had one glass of the Brooklyn East India Pale Ale. 

 

Everything was perfectly prepared and delicious.  The chicken especially blew us away.  Definitely one of THE best whole chickens being served around town.  One thing that I particularly liked was that the food's spiciness was what I would describe as Goldilocks level -- not too weak, not too hot, but just right! 

 

A couple of minor quibbles.  While the naan itself was excellent, I didn't get much rosemary flavor.  And why did they serve us three squash blossoms when there were two of us?  Sure we split the third one.  But seems to me that for two people they should serve either two or four.     

 

I was not happy with the high noise level.  However, the assistant general manager told us they were working on installing noise reduction materials.  But she also said that since it isn't very busy early in the evening, if we come in then and are seated in the back, we can avoid the noise problem.  So, we'll give that a try next time. 

 

Oh, and here's something interesting.  When our server came to our table with the menus, I felt I'd seen him somewhere before.  There was also something about the way he looked at us that told me he recognized us.  I asked him, "Why do you look familiar to me?"  His answer:  "Le Coucou."  He told us he had to leave there for personal reasons and didn't work for a while.  He also said that he preferred the vibe at Paowalla. 

 

 

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