Taking One For the Team at Kashmir Grill

The Kashmir Grill (8th Ave. btw. 39+40th) has had a tumultuous last few years. It used to be a by the pound buffet. Then it was shut down by the DOH. Meanwhile, their downstairs all you can eat buffet became The Times Buffet and may or may not still be associated with their upstairs neighbor. All that is history though. Late last year, Kashmir Grill ditched the pay what it weighs buffet and reopened as a take out place with Indian food that looked largely the same as the original.  Now that it seems to have settled into this role, I thought it was high time Midtown Lunch weighed in.

Kashmir Grill has lots of items that you will see at similar restaurants and carts. The chicken biryani, curries, samosas, kati rolls and, of course, chicken and rice. All the dishes that come with rice are around $6-7, and their “kabab dog,” which appears to be a kebab served in a bun like a hot dog, is certainly intriguing (and the price is right at $.99). But I decided to go with the kabab roll.

The kabab roll is two ground chicken kababs with lettuce and raw onions, topped with white sauce and hot sauce and all rolled up in a piece of grilled pita bread. It was made to order, unlike the pre-made ones behind glass Zach saw last October. At $3.99 and almost big enough to constitute an entire lunch this seems like a pretty good deal… but how does it taste?

Well, first of all, I found a hair attached to the outer wrapper of my kabab roll. On the tin foil. It wasn’t on or in any of my food, but still that’s not really what you want to see from a place that’s already been closed by the DOH. This may be my only time eating at Kashmir Grill though, and since I figured my food was safe, I soldiered on (you’re welcome).

The rest of my kabab roll was much less eventful, between bland chicken kababs and sauces that didn’t add much. The grilled pita was pretty good though. Overall the sandwich was forgettable, but I suppose if you are in the area it might do in a pinch.

I also tried their grilled spinach wrap- spinach, onions and spices wrapped in chapati. Unlike my kabab roll, this was already made sitting behind glass and just got thrown on the grill for a minute. Again, it was nothing special. It certainly wasn’t bad, and if I’d had some sauces to dip it in or something, it might have actually been quite enjoyable. At $1.99, it kept my lunch pretty cheap though and I left full.

I’ve only tried a small sampling of Kashmir Grill’s menu. The prices are good, and I’d love to discover a hidden gem on their menu (the tikka roll perhaps?), but at this rate I don’t think I want to bother hunting for it. Of course that all could change the next time I’m hungry and happen to be passing by.

Kashmir Grill, 601 8th Ave. (btw. 39+40th), 212-594-3777


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