**Come any time between 6pm and 9pm, stay as long as you want, or leave when you need to. You will pay for your own meal.**
Madras Mahal opened in 1985 in the Curry Hill area of Manhattan. It is located at 104 Lexington Ave between 27th and 28th Streets. This lovely, all-vegetarian, 27-year-old Indian restaurant proudly proclaims on its charming website its virtues as "Vegetarian, Jain, Swaminarayan and Vegan-Friendly". (As well as noting that Harrison Ford and Aishwariya Rai are customers. :)
Time Out New York magazine raves about Madras Mahal as a shining example of "the starchy pleasures of Southern India, including wheat-and-rice-flour dosa with masala-spiced potato filling and thick rice-and-lentil pancakes known as uttapam. Add a can’t-miss appetizer like medu vadai, lentil-flour doughnuts, and you can easily build a meal of various shades of beige. But it’s far from bland—lush coconut chutney and spicy-sour tamarind-lentil rasam broth accompany each main course. Be prepared to share the dosa: The crisp, tissue-thin crêpe, rolled into a three-foot cone, takes up more room than your tiny table allows."
The restaurant offers South Indian staples such as the dosa, a giant crepe made from rice and lentils, and idli, which are steamed rice cakes. In addition, they offer traditional North Indian food from the region of Punjab, which includes favorites such as channa masala (chickpeas) and palak (spinach). Rounding out the menu are the less-common dishes from the state of Gujarat, also in the north, where the dishes tend to be sweet and sour.
All of the items on the menu are vegetarian (no egg), and any items with dairy are specifically labeled, and can often be made without dairy if desired. Ask your waiter.
New York Magazine recommended the idli in sambar bowl, the uttappam, and the dosa. All of these have vegan options.
Madras Mahal's website: http://www.madrasmahal.com
For those of you who have never attended one of our Meetup events: this is an incredibly friendly & welcoming group. It will be easy to find our group: just ask a member of the waitstaff where the "Meetup" is. Most of the people in the restaurant will be in our large group. Everyone gets their own check. Easy!
**You are welcome to show up anytime between 6:00 PM and 9:00 PM. You may stay the whole time, or feel free to leave whenever you need to.**
Train Directions: The closest train is the 6 at 28th Street (and Park Ave.). Or take the N or R trains to 28th Street (and Broadway). The B, D, F, M or Q to 34th Street also work, that is a further walk.
I am happy to be hosting my first meetup as an assistant organizer of the group. Looking forward to seeing you all!
- Neerav (new assistant organizer)