I appreciate spontaneous hang outs where I get to discover favorite haunts of friends. Last week, I came across a couple good ones when I decided to join a gold-medal Fisherman and a Foot Model on a Friday night. I’ll refer to them as such, especially since one of them is basically a celebrity in the foot modeling world – think creepy hand model status…but…feet. People even ask to take pics of his feet when he’s wearing sneakers–I mean, think about it. And the Fisherman apparently has had some kind of luck with his catches on his own jaunts, including (but not limited to) catfish, swordfish, and sharks. But…I digress.
The first stop was Gourmet Sweets & Restaurant, a South Asian restaurant in Jackson Heights.
Turns out Fisherman and Foot Model are regulars here enough that the ladies behind the counter know their orders. They generously filled our plates with chaat (a mixture of fried dough, yogurt, and spices), biryani (rice and chicken), daal (lentils), chana (chickpeas), kababs, vegetable curry, chicken tandoori…in case you’re wondering about my diet plan, don’t.
Even though you’ll easily want more chana and kababs, save some room for their dessert, namely their falooda (a sweet drink make of rose syrup, vermicelli, milk, and other sweetness) and gulab jamun (I’m not sure how to explain these, they’re deep fried dumplings made of sugar and milk powder and syrup…compact desi funnel cakes? Fried sugary amazingness?). The place and food reminds me about all that’s so unique about the boroughs in NYC – authentic, delicious, and not expensive places to grub make you feel like you’re eating in someone’s home [See Roti Boti, too]. The owner, Yasir, even came and talked to us about growing up in NY and keeping in touch with his cultural roots. NYC is such a melting pot, it makes you appreciate those little things.
We took some chai to go–decidedly, we were cutting it close, since it started to look like people were starting to recognize Foot Model–and since the Fisherman and Foot Model were 1/1 in their restaurant choices, I decided to trust them on their latter suggestion that same night: The Donut Pub in Chelsea. How did I not know this place existed before?
They have fresh doughnuts, and a whole selection of minis if you just want a baby bite. Started by a Wall Street banker, the place is outfitted like an old-fashioned diner which compliments its offerings of old-fashioned classics (cruellers, honey-dipped, and plain glazed). They do however have more updated selections, like those of coconut-covered, red-velvet, and chocolate dipped chocolate chip varieties.
They melt in your mouth and are the perfect balance of gooey-crumbly-light-flavorful deliciousness. Try it. Work it off the next day. Feel happy. Repeat.
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
(Out of three stars)
Would I go back?: Only if the Foot Model won’t embarrass us by rejecting autographs again, definitely
The Donut Pub
203 W. 14th St.,
at Seventh Ave
New York, NY 10011
Meal: Way too late to be up and eating dessert
(Out of three stars)
Would I go back?: I still taste the red velvet in my mouth, so Yes