Sunday, May 3, 2009

Delhi Heights Indian buffet in Jackson Heights

After several months of trying to make a trip to Jackson Heights for an Indian buffet lunch happen, we finally bit the bullet and made the trek on Saturday. Prowling around for a new (non-Jackson Diner) place, we hit upon Delhi Heights, which we'd seen and wondered about a few months ago when it was brand-new. Despite its Indo-Chinese tendencies (a fact which Priya and her dad groaned about), it seemed like it had a good vegetarian selection and many online reviews saying it was better than Jackson Diner, so we figured we'd try it out.

We arrived around noon, and all the food looked very fresh (the plus of arriving early, I suppose). They took our naan order (options: buttered, or not?) and we dug in.

The buffet was nicely extensive, with chicken makhani, tandoori chicken, goat curry, chana masala, vegetable pakora, dal makhani (they called it "Dal Delhi Heights"), THREE types of cauliflower (including a Chinese-style "chili cauliflower"--the only Chinese dish on the buffet, we were happy to note), chicken biriyani, vegetable paneer, and some warm gulab jamun for dessert.

The food was delicious; I can't complain about any of the dishes I ate. The naan was fresh and tasty, and they gave us a ton right off (and tried to push more onto us later); some places are stingy and roll their eyes if you keep asking for more. I think the buffet lacked some deep greens (most buffets have palak or saag paneer... not this one), but I was extremely happy with our choice. And for $9.95 apiece, it was $2 cheaper than Jackson Diner (granted, Jackson Diner has a dosa station, but still).

After we ate, we shopped at Patel Bros. (for some reason, they didn't have the Haldiram's brand of dal biji I wanted, and neither did the other big market around the corner) and got some frozen paratha, ghee, vegetables, etc. Unfortunately, they were out of the crates of Alphonso mangos that we'd been planning to buy. We almost bought a box of Haitian mangos instead, hoping it might cool our mango fever, but Priya's mom advised against it, saying we should wait and see if another shipment of Alphonsos would arrive.

We checked out one more buffet place as we left, maybe for next time: Mehfil, a couple of blocks further away. It was only $8.95 and didn't look as shiny-new and fancy as Delhi Heights, but the food looked pretty good, and they had an even larger vegetarian selection--maybe 3/4ths of the whole buffet. Nice! I'd like to try that place next time, perhaps... but I also want to come back to Delhi Heights.

I was so hungry I forgot to take pix. Whoops.

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