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 The eatery’s framed art hangs on exposed-brick walls instead of over an art museum’s embarrassingly outdated Chuck Norris poster.
Specializing in vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free meals, Health in a Hurry combines convenience and commitment to a natural and organic gourmet diet. The vast assortment of prepared foods let healthful diners lunch on such made-from-scratch options as chickpea-of-the-sea or beet-marmalade wraps stuffed with arugula and goat cheese ($6.95 each). Healthy burgers free patty-eaters from the oppressive ruling of wheat and soy with an amalgamation of vegetables including lentils, brown rice, squash, shredded carrot, portobello mushrooms, and red pepper ($10.75/package of two). Enjoy desserts, including sesame-raisin cookies and ginger crisps ($1.50 each), without going into refined sugar-shock—all sweets are made with brown-rice syrup, maple syrup, agave nectar, molasses, honey, and sweet lies to trick the tongue. Each healthy delicacy can be enjoyed on the go or on the outdoor patio under the right meteorological circumstances.
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.
Any veggie burger that makes it onto Boston Globe Magazine's list of the area's 25 Best Burgers is bound to be something special. But only an extra-special veggie burger could deserve to be called "an edible symbol of completeness." Yet that's exactly what the magazine dubbed Red Lentil's Zen burger, a flavor-packed vegan patty made from black beans, brown rice, corn, carrots, red peppers, garlic, and onions and served with housemade thousand island dressing. That chart-topping meatless masterpiece is just one way this vegetarian and vegan restaurant is helping diners painlessly part ways with their favorite animal proteins. The rotating menu features seasonal produce at its freshest, ensuring dishes such as moussaka pizza, butternut-squash polenta, and ginger miso soup never lack flavor. As an added bonus, Red Lentil also includes many raw, macrobiotic, or gluten-free dishes on its menu and is careful to differentiate between items that contain nuts and those made with legumes that are just a little eccentric sometimes.
Peppercorn Cafe is nothing if not cozy. At a wrap-around bar made of unpolished granite and waxed cherry wood, bartenders pour draft beer or cocktails as guests converse and watch football. Just around the corner from the lounge, diners gather around tables draped in white linen that brightens under torrents of natural light by day and softens under the wall sconces by night.
The homey family restaurant is the joint venture of two Long Islanders, and the menu reflects it. Executive Chef Dave Moritz sticks to the founders' North Atlantic roots with a menu filled with unconventional takes on New York seafood favorites. Pot pies, for example, come stuffed with lobster, and the crab cakes are served on cranberry scallion couscous—a break from the traditional method of serving them inside a grizzled sea captain's pipe. Little Neck clams mingle with chorizo on the appetizer menu, creating a segue into the turf portion of the menu, which includes braised beef short ribs and New York strip steak with crumbled gorgonzola.