The Hindu Temple Society of North America
45-57 Bowne Street, Flushing, Queens
$8 to $10 per dish
♥ ♥ ♥
I’ll second Anthony Bourdain for this review: vegetarian food doesn’t have to suck. When Scott was visiting from Dubai, I thought of the Ganesh Hindu Temple canteen as our lunch spot because of his new dietary needs. He’s not vegetarian per se because he likes his sushi and won’t turn down a juicy hamburger if it was offered to him–in other words, he’s my kind of vegetarian.
From the Main Street stop off the 7 train, we walked and walked in the rain until we reached Bowne Street. Worshippers were taking off their shoes before entering the basement, so we did the same thing until we realized that people who were only there for the food kept their shoes on. We joined the long queue and waited for our turn to order several dishes that we ended up sharing for lunch. We staked out other groups who were finishing up to get a table and seats.
The rava dosa, a crepe-like Indian pancake from South India, was delicious and light. The hyderabadi green chili curry seasoned with sweet tamarind and yogurt was my favorite because of its tanginess and acidity. The red chili masala is a little spicier but nothing freshly baked nan could not control. The paneer butter masala is my usual order at Indian restaurants so I was glad to try it here. We all loved the condiments that came in different shades of browns, reds and oranges spiked with the whiteness of thin yogurt on the side. The combination of cardamom, ginger, garlic and lemon was a nice sensation in our mouths and gave us strength to walk the long way back to the train.