Originally Posted by gdl203
There's like 500* Indian restaurants in Curry Hill + 100* holes in wall places where cab drivers go eat at 3am, and yet it is plausible that there would not be a place that serves decent Indian food in this city where 300,000 South-Asian americans live (mostly Indian)? hmm...* not actual statistics
Originally Posted by LawrenceMD
go to queens
bro! all azin/ethinic food is there but you need to find it.
Gdl - it's a demographics thing. There are also a lot of Chinese people here obviously but NYC's offerings are relatively mediocre there as well with the possible exception of some Uighur restaurants in Flushing. Anyway, the issue is that there is not much of an established middle class Indian community in NYC, certainly not compared to San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, etc. Ask any Indian person you know and they will corroborate this. In terms of broad demographic trends, Indian immigrants tend to move to the west coast (tech industry) or around the country to practice medicine, engineering, etc. The ones that do stick around in the tristate area tend to shift to the burbs (e.g. central New Jersey) because of various cultural attitudes (they need space to entertain large extended families, put up their parents for months on end, etc). This all sounds ridiculously stereotypical but again I'm sure your Indian friends will confirm. The Indians that remain in NYC are usually poor immigrants (cab drivers, etc), recent immigrants in transition (medical residents, students), and young professionals (bankers, lawyers, etc), none of which are the sort of communities that establish flourishing restaurant scenes, especially not for Indian cuisine which is best prepared in large scale. I usually get annoyed when people adopt elitist attitudes about food (you can't get X in NYC) but I do think it's just a fact here.
Also, anecdotally, I believe that a large % of the "Indians" you see in NYC are actually Bengali or South Indian, both of which have excellent but distinct culinary traditions which are not what most non-Indians expect at a typical Indian place like Mint, etc. Those places, and the quintessential dishes you find there (tandoori chicken, etc.), tend to be North Indian.
To Lawrence MD - the Indian parts of Jackson Heights are great for picking up transvestite prostitutes but not so much for the food. Seriously though, there are some good places for Indian desserts (e.g. Maharaja) but have not been impressed with any of the restaurants.Edited by johanm - 12/30/12 at 5:44pm