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Daniel

ADDA

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I've eaten a little bit in India and a lot in Italy and I'm not sure that's true at the mid level. The comparison isn't Dhaba vs Dell'anima it's Dhaba vs a neighborhood slice joints pasta menu

 

Dhaba is pretty terrible, I agree. But like, Frank vs Bukhara Grill, not so sure there's a difference there (in price or quality)

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the interesting development with indian restaurants in the u.s is probably happening under the foodie/media radar. in the last 10 years and more the largest fraction of indian immigration by far has been from the south and from the erstwhile andhra pradesh in particular. this is a market that is not really going to be so into ye olde north indian chestnuts. even in the twin cities in the last few years there's been a proliferation of places offering hyderabadi food, some even with hyderabad in their name. we recently ate at one of these places in a southern suburb that has also seen a rise in indian groceries. the meal was surprisingly enjoyable. again, i wouldn't pick it over any andhra/hyderabadi place in delhi (which doesn't have great andhra food to begin with) but i was much happier eating this stuff than cream and nut paste-laden dreck at the average tandoori mahal. but even there some dishes were just weirdly done.

 

as for biryani, there are many styles but i can't say i've eaten any that present as cardamom bombs.

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Mongo - you forgot to comment that I didnt order (or try to) butter chicken. An oversight or do you no longer care?

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so, i took the leftovers to work today as I am not eating for the next few days... My coworker has never had indian food. He is from Nicaragua. He has said in the past he wants to try Indian Food.. I have brought him some thai food over the years.. Like ordered him a salad, or a curry from Sripraprhai.  I prepared the food for him.. The chicken in the oven and the leftover naan.. Curry shrimp in the microwave, bryani too.. Chat was cold.  Briyani again, strong smell of cardamom 
 

He loved everything. there  was enough for two more people..  

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If you're going out for a random casual meal it's going to be Italian or Chinese 1000 times before it's Indian, right? and it's not as if those Italian places are generally that good, so probably you don't appreciate an over-cardamomized biryani aa much as you do an over-sauced middling quality pasta and it's not because nyc mid-level Indian is worse compared to an idealized version than nyc Italian compared to such a version of itself.

I have a perspective. Growing up in the UK, random casual meals were very often Indian. Not just me, but the public in general. And the standard of average, anonymous Indian restaurants in the UK is way higher than the equivalent here.

 

Even so I remember family members who just hated Indian food despite its ubiquity. The spicing, the smell. Not everything is for everyone. As regular readers will know, I don’t enjoy Szechuan. Never have never will. But I won’t starve.

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The Dominicans in my family were introduced to Indian food by me, and love it, as long as it’s the mild, creamy end not the fierce, chili end.

 

(Mongo: I am talking about locally available Indian food.)

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adda was one of three indian restaurants i ate at in new york on our trip last month. this meal was in the company of a few mouthfullers. on the whole, i thought the meal was good but nothing to get so very excited about either. as i say in my review, which posted today on my blog, other than the tandoori pompano i'm not sure what i'd be in a hurry to come back to eat if i lived in new york. but thats from the perspective of someone who is an above-average indian home cook. in the larger indian restaurant ecosystem of new york--where the broad choices are curry house (cheap or expensive) or mod'ish places that do unnecessary things to normal dishes, a place like adda probably looms larger than its food strictly merits. by the way, while most of the dishes we ate were not awash in cream/nut paste a lot of things were rather over-spiced.

 

full review with many, many terrible pictures here.

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Probably because it does occupy that niche, it's worth saying that New Yorkers seem very excited.  It was slammed; we booked well in advance; and it is popular enough that it lays down all kinds of policies, not just for cancellations and BYOs, but even for minimum spend (perhaps this is just for large parties, but it was a surprising amount of red tape).

 

On the other hand, at least all the email communications involved were prompt and courteous.

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