Flatiron Lunch: For Giant Dosas Head to Curry in a Hurry

Now that Downtown has its very own section of the site, what are we going to post on Fridays at 10am? Answer… how about a new column devoted to those lunches just south of the ML boundaries. Please give a warm welcome to Jason Lam from the blog Me So Hungry.  Every Friday at 10am he’ll post about lunches in Murray Hill south, Grammercy, Flatiron, and everything in between… or as we’ll call it from now on: Flatiron Lunch.

First off, I’d like to thank Zach for this opportunity to share my lunch eating experience with you guys. I hope to share some of my favorite spots, try new things, learn some stuff and eat good food. Enjoy and salivate. Recently I stopped in at Curry in a Hurry in Murray (Curry) Hill (that’s a mouthful.) Amongst the many other Indian restaurants in this area, this place has a wackier facade. Slanted blue wall and a neon sign with twisty Bauhaus-style font. On the inside, you’ll see a steam tray counter with a full array of curries. To the side, a tandoor oven and tava (griddle) in plain view where you can watch them cook naan and other breads to order. I was pretty confident I did the right thing by getting just a dosa, but I was dead wrong.

They asked me to wait for my Masala Dosa (Indian crepe filled with spiced potatoes) upstairs in the dining room. It’s kinda fancy up there, relatively speaking. It reminds me of the Golden Girls with the grandma carpeting and beige table cloths, but perhaps 1980′s Boca Raton casual dining is a better description. At least that’s my perception of it. The dining room overlooks the street and is good for people watching.

I walked past guys eating full trays of food by themselves. They must have gotten one of the combination platters with two curries (each in their own serving dish), big plate of rice, naan and use of the complimentary salad & chutney bar. So much food for one lonely person. You might wanna split it with a lunch buddy.

The Masala Dosa ($7.75) was huge and it looked like they gave me two. I was wondering if they made a mistake or maybe gave me the inside deal, like that commercial with the creep trying to get an 89cent burrito at the Taco Bell where only hot girls work. It was only until I got half-way through, I realized it was actually one super large dosa (that must’ve been about 2 feet long) cut in halves.

It was delicious. I think I like this more than the Dosa Guy in Washington Square Park. Bigger, fresher tasting, but not as spicy. Luckily the potato filling was only about 3/5 of the crepe, because did I already say this sucker is huge?

The vegetable soup had a sourness that I’m not used to. I didn’t like it at first, but it grew on me …just a bit. The complimentary salad and chutney bar is decent, if you can pick through the brown lettuce. I like coleslaw.

Follow-up: As I was writing this up, I got a craving for Indian and decided to go back to try the curries. Yeah, it was quick. I was watching them load up the dishes for the dine-in combo meals ahead of me. Then I was disappointed to see the smaller amount I got in my to-go tray, which I paid around $11 for. Perhaps it’s an illusion of the container and you do get same amount, but I wouldn’t bet on it. I say stick to dine-in. It appears to be so much more food. I don’t know why I’m bitchin’. I’m stuffed and couldn’t finish my to-go meal anyway. Curry dishes were decent. Not super-spicy. I liked the Saag Paneer and the Naan had a nice crisp burn on the bottom, soft and fluffy on top.

Curry in a Hurry is quick if you want the curries. However I’d suggest having them make you something fresh off the tandoor oven or tava, like Kulcha bread or Dosa. Those take time to cook, but I think they’re well worth the wait.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • I need my curry quick because I’m in a hurry
  • I love fresh baked Indian breads
  • I want to eat a lot of Indian food and all-you-can eat chutney bar
  • I like to watch/spy on pedestrians from the 2nd floor while eating

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • Food’s not spicy enough
  • I want to know what curry dish I’m pointing at, but still confused after I asked the server what it is
  • I want the same amount of food (or at least perceive to be) whether I to-stay or to-go
  • I don’t like the Golden Girls, but I admit Blanche is sexy

Curry in a Hurry, 119 Lexington Ave (btw. 28+29th), 212-683-0900


  • its not murray hill, its the brown box. check your taxi map. :P

  • The dosa looks decent. I wonder how their sambar tastes (the vegetable stew in the picture that you’re supposed to eat the dosa with). I’ve learned to rip the dosa and dip pieces into the sambar to fully enjoy.

  • anyone been to Pongal (lex bw 27th & 28th) for dosas? got a rec from an indian coworker that theirs are especially good.

  • Awesome write up, been craving dosa for a while but had no idea where to go. Also, is it me or is that 89cent Taco Bell commercial kind of disturbing.

  • Hey Jason,

    Flatiron is my hood and I have a few good suggestions for places. (I’d also be happy to come out for lunch any time and provide a second set of taste buds!)

  • oops, I forgot: FLATIRON REPRESENT!!!

  • Flatiron lunch – you guys have to do a proper write up of the mexican-pizza place on 23rd just west of 6th.

  • Don’t you agree, stevenp?

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    woot! flat iron food! this land is my land!

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    wait… the mexican pizza place 23rd and 6th? right in on the corner? like right next to the really healthy looking place with the glass walls? please dont tell me you are talking about that place if you are talking about their pizza :-(

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    My fave (cheap) Indian place….I actually think the take up portions are large and are always loaded up – you can even ask them to give you extra of chana or lentils or whatever you want….but then again, I have been a regular for 14 years and even get complimentary bhajia’s.

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    Oh man, memories of college come flooding back to me. I purposely try to avoid that area at all costs even though there’s so much Indian in the area.

  • So happy people are now reviewing places in Flatiron. I find indian foot in general in NYC is way way tame compared to back home and in the UK. It’s like they totally tone it down for the American tastes. I know you can get phall in Brick lane but overall it’s not authentic. Please reply and tell me places where a vindaloo will actually have you begging for cold milk.

  • *ahem*

    that area is affectionately known as “Curry Hill,” guys.
    Curry in a Hurry is smack-dab in the middle of some wonderful South Indian restaurants (Madras Mahal, Chennai Garden, etc.), but CIAH is still pretty good.

    Madras Mahal also takes Restaurant.com, so it gets even more affordable!

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    What are your geographical boundaries for “Flatiron Lunch” BTW?

    My office is fond of Defonte’s, Baoguette, Roomali, Lamazou, Sophie’s, Shake Shack (only when it’s raining, of course)… RIP the takeout lunch menu at Pamplona!

  • susan: yes, I do agree- but forego the pizza and just review the Mex! Maffei’s would be good too, and I have a few other local gems in mind.

    And there’s a dosa or 2 in my future. They look delish!

  • I’m loving all these changes. That area has been sorely underreported. There’s a big gap between “downtown” and “midtown” :)

  • spydr–no, the pizza is bleh there. The Mexican is the best in the area, and is nothing like the Mexicrap chain options around here (I mean you, Chipotle and Qdoba!) Nobody goes there for the pizza.(Unless it’s, like, 3 a.m.)

  • @Spydr331 and stevenp – definitely was thinking only of the Mexican – I’ve never even tried the pizza there. This to me is a true representation of a midtown lunch – cheap, great, though slightly hidden.

    Jason – put it on your list.

  • Jason: That’s some of the best food photography I’ve seen in these parts. Please share with us amateurs how you got those shots. I assume you use a DSLR….what type, lens, settings, etc.

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