I don't know what the official name of this restaurant is. It's between 36th and 37th on 9th Ave. The awning says "Cuisine of Pakistan" but somebody took the trouble of bending some neon to say "Nice and Spicey". So I'm going to go with that.
I like the fact that they play up the spiciness of their food (in the tradition of "Spicy and Tasty", the great Sichuan restaurant in Flushing) and I can attest -- it's spicy all right, but not excessive. The food is what we know mostly as "Indian food" but really it's Pakistani, readily identifiable dishes to the Western eye like "chana", "biryani", and "saag". All of the meat is halal (you will see chicken and goat), and the naans are baked fresh to order. The setup is your basic steam table but if you get there right at 12 noon on a weekday, it's basically like stumbling into a large home-cooked family meal, with all of the dishes fresh off the stove. In the back there is a prayer area which gets full around 1pm with cab drivers, security guards and assorted vendors performing their zuhr (midday prayer).
What I love about this place is a) they don't hold back on the heat and b) they change up the entrees every day. Just about every time I've been there, there have been different meat and veggie specials. This particular day I got the Ground Chicken with Bitter Melon. Fabulous.
Damn fine cuisine.
Wall of Pakistani CDs and phonecards for sale.
You can expect to drop anywhere from $6 to $11 for lunch here, depending on the sides and the drinks. It's all good.
Nice & Spicey
bet. 36th and 37th St. on 9th Ave.
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