Tawa’s executive chef crafts a diverse menu featuring traditional and contemporary takes on Indian culinary techniques. Tongues climb the spires of the inventive vegetarian vermicelli kebabs to liberate deep-fried potatoes stuffed with american cheese speared alongside paneer patties ($5.95). Chef Obhan draws on his upbringing by a family of culinarians in Mumbai to infuse baingan bhartha eggplant with an array of spices ($8.95) that let diners dabble in exotic flavors without the dangers of starting a food fight with Willy Wonka. Cooks dress charcoal-cooked tandoori chicken to speed-date cutlery in a red jacket of spices and yogurt sauce ($8.95), and the Sammundari sizzler platter calls together shrimp biryani with tandoori-cooked fish kebabs for medal-winning dives into panoply sauces ($17.95). Soothe spice-cloaked throats with authentic, nonalcoholic libations such as jeera and yogurt chaas, mango lassi, and Masala sodas ($2.50+).
Red Oak Cafe prepares nutritious pancakes and omelets for breakfast along with gyros, wraps, and burgers for lunch. Try a buffalo chicken wrap or pizza burger with mozzarella and marinara. The restaurant also serves triple-decker clubs and frankfurters with worldly influences, including a Texas dog with cole-slaw, barbecue sauce, and bacon and a Jamaican dog with jerk mayo and jalapeños.
Traditional Vietnamese cuisine warms up patrons at Baguette Delite, a restaurant from the former owner of Bien Hoa. Hot soups, rice dishes, congees, and sandwiches served on fresh baguettes make up the bulk of the menu. Diners can supplement their meals with tasty bubble teas and fruit smoothies.
The rustic interior of Mexican Post sets the tone for the restaurant's menu and hourly Battle of the Alamo reenactments. Starters ($4.75–$7.45) include savory engine revvers such as classic quesadillas, bean dip, or the camarones Acapulco (five shrimp stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon, deep-fried, and served with chipotle sauce). Fulfill your destiny with a larger plate, such as the deluxe burrito mesquite topped with special sauce, grilled veggies, cheese, peppers, and onions ($12.45) or an order of fan-favorite flautas ($10.25). Mix and match tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, and more across various combos ($8.95–$10.95). Accompany and lubricate your meal with a margarita featuring a potent dash from one of the 107 different tequila varieties, or sample a straight shot as anesthetic for an authentic Civil War–style operation.
Friends Tanya DeSilva and Mala Rajapakse found they shared such a passion for cooking the savory flavors of their familiar Sri Lankan cuisine that they developed it into a business. Once the inspiration from Chefs Suranga Pradeep Kumanra and Vincent Dias was added, both Sigiri locations in New York and New Jersey bloomed. Each one showcases traditional dishes from the owners’ homeland woven with culinary elements from India, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Malaysia—all countries with a colonial history on the island nation. As the restaurants have taken off, they’ve helped instill in their communities the same love for the spicy, belly-warming food that originally brought Tanya and Mala together. The result of all those efforts is a diverse menu that incorporates traditional rice dishes, spicy curries, and specialties such as banana leaves stuffed with chicken, egg, and plantains. But perhaps the most popular dish at Sigiri is the kotthu roti, in which doughy pancakes and vegetables are stir-fried together. At the New York location, diners climb up a steel staircase to a “narrow dining room painted in red and yellow ochre tones and decorated with straw basket lamp covers and ceramic candle holders,” as described by NYC.com. In that intimate space, they also sip Sri Lankan fruit cordials in flavors such as passion fruit, mango, or ginger and finish their meals with desserts of caramel flan.
Tucked away in the kitchen of each Paris Baguette, bakers trained in French techniques craft buttery, flaky croissants and tart crusts, and their success at this has earned attention from the likes of the New York Times. In addition to pastries and sweets such as mocha rice balls, the bakers knead bread for their namesake baguettes and yeasty creations that hold an Asian twist, such as red-bean-paste-filled donuts. The experts also create fondant-cloaked cakes that venture beyond classic flavors into green tea, cappuccino, and sweet potato, delighting partygoers bored of the same laminated sheet cake that makes its appearance at each year’s birthday celebration.
To wash down these treats, patrons sip cups of java or more exotic drinks such as wheatgrass and black-sesame lattes, persimmon smoothies, and bubble tea. At lunchtime, many locations layer sandwiches, filling hungry stomachs with croque monsieurs and baguettes stuffed with chicken and pesto.