Go Vegetarian At Benares For A Lunchtime Indian Feast At DL Prices

The Indian food options for $10 or less within Downtown Lunch boundaries are often relegated to steam table spots frequented by cab drivers or quick service spots focusing on dishes like kati rolls or dosa. We even have an Indian version of Chipotle!

Sometimes, you want a little more class than can be found at a place with a sneeze guard where your food is served on a styrofoam plate.

A branch of Midtown’s Benares opened on Murray St. (btw. Church & W. Broadway) and they happen to have three lunch specials for $9.95 or $8.95. The cheapest takeout (or delivery) lunch option contains no meat, but they’ll give you enough food that you won’t even miss it.

Let’s just go through what you’ll get in your takeout bag, shall we? You’ll get a container with three separate wells containing two different vegetable preparations of which you do not get to choose, rice with bits of cumin seed, and a small container or dal. Then there’s a whole naan in one of those aluminum bags to keep it warm, a small cup of salad that’s mostly iceberg lettuce, and little containers of raita, chutney, and green mint sauce along with a sweet/spicy sauce.

The curried vegetables were simple and tasty, if a little oily. Cauliflower and bell peppers comingled in the slightly spicy sauce, trumping the mild spinach and chickpeas next door in terms of flavor. The basmati rice was only OK, but when paired with the little cup of thick, bean-laden dal was pretty great.

Then you still have the naan! If you’re like me, you’ve given up on eating this piece of bread the size of a personal pizza at that point and put it aside for later. One of these meals could easily serve two or act as lunch and dinner, and for less than $10 including tax.

If Benares is trying to compete with the nearby Bangal Curry or Taj Tribeca at lunch time, they’re winning in my books.

Benares, 45 Murray St. (btw. Church & W. Broadway), (212) 766-4900


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