Flatiron Lunch: Anjappar Thali Lunch a Welcome Addition to the Neighborhood

Every Friday we go south of the ML boundaries in search of a delicious lunch. Sometimes it’s Murray Hill south or the Flatiron District, sometimes Gramercy and everything in between- but we just like to call it Flatiron Lunch.

Here at Midtown Lunch, we have grown accustomed to restaurants pricing themselves out of the ML budget. (I’m looking at you No. 7 Sub!) So it makes us happy when a restaurant bucks the trend and adds a $10 and under option to the menu.

When Anjappar opened in Feb 2012, they only offered lunch combos above $10. As an international chain with 30+ branches in India, United Arab Emirates and New Jersey, among others, they might have thought their name would be sufficient to draw in customers. I am pretty sure they underestimated the price sensitivity in Curry Hill with so many great lunch options under $10. Anjappar is sometimes listed as Anjappar Chettinad, because it was founded in Chennai and serves typical Chettinad cuisine.

Eventually, Anjappar put this sign in the window. Hooray! Finally, a $10 lunch option. And the meal was a thali with all of its little dishes. Double Hooray! This thali has a vegetarian or chicken option. Too bad this deal is only Monday-Thursday, so if you’re reading this the day it is published (aka Friday), you will have to wait until Monday to have this thali.

This meal claims to be a banana leaf thali (google image it). While there is technically a banana leaf on the base of the plate, the individual dishes were instead scooped into individual bowls. The tray came with chapathi (hiding beneath the rice on the banana leaf), pappadum, rice, chicken or veggie curry, yogurt, pickle, and sweet. At least those were the items I could easily recognize and name. The main menu lists a thali starting at $13.95 that also includes sambar, rasam, kootu and poriyal. After looking those up after the fact, I am pretty sure they were all represented on the platter. In addition, the day I was there, the thali came with fried chicken or fried mushrooms with red onion.

Did I mention this thali is all you can eat? Even though I wasn’t quite able to finish mine (I came close!), they offered me a refill on any of my dishes. Love the main curry so much you finish it? Just ask for more. Need a second bowl of the sweet at the end of the meal? You can have that too.

THE + (What people who like this place will say)

  • I love thalis.
  • And I love all you can eat thalis even more .
  • Anjappar dishes are all delicious.

THE – (What people who don’t like this place will say)

  • Too bad Anjappar doesn’t offer the $10 thali every weekday.
  • I would rather have one large dish instead all these small bowls.
  • Anjappar is an average international chain, and I would rather eat at the independent restaurants of Curry Hill.

Anjappar Chettinad, 116 Lexington Avenue btwn 27th & 28th Streets, (212) 265-3663


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