Husband-and-wife team Ali and Nazifa acquaint American palates with Afghan flavors through accessible fusion fare—with many vegan options—that has caught the printed eye of the New York Times. Cushion-covered benches grant comfort, and glasses of wine complement entrees. The eatery’s framed art hangs on exposed-brick walls instead of over an art museum’s embarrassingly outdated Chuck Norris poster.
Cuisine Type: Indian vegetarian & vegan friendly
Reservations: Not offered
Number of Tables: 5?10
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Samosas, sweets, chaats, dosas, thali
Delivery / Take-out Available: Takeout only
Outdoor Seating: No
Pro Tip: Popular for authentic $5 hot lunch and dinner platters and over 100 varieties of Indian snacks and desserts
Are there any dishes on the menu you consider to be a hidden gem?not necessarily the most popular, but surprisingly delicious?
There are plenty hidden gems: Sweets & Ice Creams: Cashew-based confections, chocolate-covered treats, fig rolls, almond cookies, pistachio ice cream, and Kulfi sticks. Food: Kathi rolls, stuffed parathas (Indian bread), chole bhature, and pav bhaji.
Do you use any family recipes at your restaurant? Whose family do they belong to (the chef, the owner, or someone else)?
All the recipes that we offer are my family recipes. Some of them were created three decades ago by my uncle and aunt who started the Rajbhog concept in Jackson Heights, NY. Since the time I opened this family franchise in Hicksville in 2001, I have several of my own creations to the menu. I have customized most of the recipes to the local clientele of Long Island.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
The menu we offer is 100% vegetarian with plenty of vegan-friendly choices. We cook our food from freshly purchased vegetables from local grocers. People come to us since our food tastes like a wholesome home-cooked meal just the way they used to eat it in the South Asian sub continent. We have over 25 vegan-friendly menu items. Our menu covers all the popular "street food" of India. We also have a diverse array of Indian desserts made with pure ghee (clarified butter) and fresh milk.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
We are a 100% women-run minority business and are very proud of it. Most of my staff has been with me for a long time. We have 40 people seating, have free Wifi and have live TV playing Indian channels. Seating is casual. Ordering is at the counter and pickup is at the counter (like Panera). We are very popular for our catering services and also cater to lot of local banquet halls for weddings and parties. We offer gift baskets, gift boxes for weddings and corporate events. We cater to local non-profit organizations for charity and have been recognized by Ed Mangano. We also sponsor South Asian events at Stony Brook University, Hostra, SUNY Westbury.
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