Downtown Lunch: Lahore Pakistani Fast Food
Midtown workers shouldn’t have all the fun, so to even the score, I’ve brought on Daniel Krieger as an official Downtown Lunch Correspondent to write up some of the tasty stuff you can get in the lower half of Manhattan. He’s a great photographer (insuring good food porn), but more importantly he is a lover of cheap, unique and delicious eats (or as I like to call it- Midtown Lunch’ish food.) This week, I’m particularly curious about this Pakistani “Hamburger”
If you’re walking up Crosby to Houston and you blink, you’ll miss Lahore, where according to the take out menu you can, “Feel the taste of East.” Personally I feel like their name and slogan may have gotten mixed up with a shady massage parlor, but I went in anyway on the recommendation of a friend who frequents this Pakistani Cabbie Stand.
Something I just had to try was the $4 chicken sandwich, which is a nice blend of east meets west. A take on a burger, they start you off with a seeded bun with lettuce, tomato, mayo, and onions, and then instead of a burger or chicken breast, it’s a chicken kebab that has been flattened into a patty. It was my favorite thing although not quite filling for an entire meal, but if you get an extra patty, or a samosa, for $1 more you’d be good to go. A typical looking vegetable samosa goes for $1 but according to a TONY article written in 99 it used to be 75 cents.. not such a bad price hike considering that was almost 10 years ago.
I tasted a $6 meal which came with one meat (they offer chicken and goat as options), rice, and two vegetables. I went with the chicken curry with potatoes/peas (served too cold) and lentils (excellent). The chicken portion was slim but flavorful. I’m not sure how the roti is although they held one up for a photo op when I was finished eating. The roti is homemade off site, and then warmed up to order.
In the humble opinion of this photographer (remember that’s what I am, not a food critic) Pakistani Tea House beats them on almost every level. The meals at PTH are more expensive but the quality I feel surpasses this joint. I did really like that sandwich but it’s a bit meager for $4, for two patties you hit $5, and we almost expect more for a place at that price, maybe somewhere to sit down? Maybe I’m just getting spoiled because of all the cheap eats downtown? (That was a jab at Zach).
If you go, don’t eat inside. This place is strictly grab and go. If you stay you’ll be wedged in between cases of food, supplies, and many regulars who come in and out very quickly. I feel like it must be tough with the increased rents in that area, but they’ve been slinging samosas for the past 14 years. Hopefully this isn’t Cabbies Last Stand.
Lahore, 132 Crosby Street (nr. Houston), 212-965-1777
Photos and post by www.danielkrieger.com