Downtown Lunch: Diwan-E-Khaas
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.)
Why should Queens have all the good Indian food? Is it really that hard to get some good spots in Manhattan that aren’t on East 6th street or Murray Hill? This week I hadn’t planned on eating Indian food as I had just photographed an Indian wedding last weekend and got to eat some amazing food there. In other words my once a month Indian craving had been filled. After reading this comment on my Country kebab post, I had planned to check out Koyzina Grill to see if the kebabs there were really that great. Sadly though, the only kebabs I saw on the menu were shrimp, and cost like 14 bucks.
Funk that I said and wondered if I was supposed to check out the Koyzina Cafe, which is across the street on the corner. But the only thing I saw on that menu was a bunch of pasta dishes and regular sandwiches. When I asked, “Do you guys have kebabs?”, I got this reply: “What’s a kebab?” WHAT?! Needless to say, I left without answering him.
I walked back to the street, dizzy with hunger and disappointment, only to find a cheap looking Indian lunch spot starring me down and calling to me, with one of my favorite things in the world… the scent of fresh baked naan.
Diwan-E-Khaas, is a spot that lures you in with a cheap looking lunch menu starting at 5.75 (and going up to $8.75). They have three locations, with this one being on Cedar Street (btw Pearl+William). I had the Lunch Box Combo ($8.75), which is chicken or lamb with 2 veggies, rice, and naan.
The woman behind the counter allowed me to sample the lamb curry before I ordered it and I thought it tasted great. I should have sampled the veggies though as the spinach paneer was too watery and I felt the chickpea veggie I chose was also a bit watered down. I notice on the menu the word “health” and “no butter” appeared in a few spots so maybe this place tries to do Indian food in a healthier way? That shouldn’t mean the taste suffers though, right?
The lamb curry was great and the naan was a decent disc of warm doughy goodness, but my quest for really good Indian food downtown continues. Right now, I think Pakistan Tea House still has the title for me. We can do better Manhattan! Why should Queens have all the good Indian and Pakistani joints.
Diwan-E-Khaas (Multiple Locations)
- 26 Cedar Street (btw Pearl and William), 212-480-0697
- 53 Nassau St (btw. Liberty+Maiden Lane), 212-571-7676
- 26 South William Street (btw. Broad+William), 212-248-2361
Post and photos by Daniel Krieger.