37-38 72nd St
Jackson Heights, Queens
This is a fantastic little shop. Two shops in one actually. The rear was the existing business from yesteryear which mainly sold various paranthas, but within the past six months, they’ve added a second business selling Nepalese food off the griddle. Look towards the rear, over the counter, and you’ll see their workforce of older women endlessly, tirefully crafting doughy mixtures with their hands. The smiles from these ladies will make you cry for your grandma, it’s how you wish she was.
How is this not gonna be good??
Anything out of this factory is charming, but the momos are fantastic. Best I’ve had. The chicken curry filling is juicy and herby. The crescent-form wrappers are nearly translucent, but the biggest tease is the smell. Price? 8 for five dollars.
Look at the griddleman’s table of ready ingredients, and you’ll see the Indian influence on Nepalese cooking. Lots of lentils and potatoes, and other mix-ins you’d find with chaat shops. Here, it became clearer to me how little the cuisine spans the Himalayas to Tibet.
It’s a great place to learn, but while the Nepalese male cook is decent enough at English, if you are stuck with his female ENL (English Not a Language) counterpart, the hovering manager of the entire shop will be more than helpful.
Other items are wayy Nepalese, no more Asian fusion or tippy-toeing ethnicity in Jackson Heights. Here, look at the menu:
On recent trips, I’ve had kathi rolls and qeema baari (chicken over a lentil pancake, sorta. see last picture). Endearing every time. I think I love it.
Intro to Nepal Food