“Cheap Eats” is my post-series on cheap restaurants and prepared food options in New York. I recommend cooking your own food most of the time, but every once in a while it is nice to indulge and you don’t have to pay through the nose to do so. I plan to review many of the cheap options I find on various websites and will let you know if they are as good and as cheap as advertised. If you have a suggestion for a place to review, feel free to let me know through my contact page.
So my quest to find delicious cheap eats recently took me to Midtown. I had found Chandni Restaurant online in my research, but I didn’t have a specific item that I was told to try. In fact, a quick look at the website made it seem as though there wouldn’t be anything there that would fit my “less than $5” criteria. On a whim, I decided to go and check it out anyway:
Chandni Restaurant – 13 West 29th St – Between 5th and Broadway (map)
I sauntered up to the counter, looked up, and was thrilled! There it was – a sign for vegetable kati roll (they spell it kathi roll) within my budget staring me in the face! I knew I had made a good decision. After an ordering SNAFU that I will explain in a bit, I got my roll, took it back to my office and opened it up.
- I believe you can get chicken for a dollar more, but vegetable one was fine for me.
The Cheap Eats Breakdown
How was the ordering experience? When I ordered, I pointed to the sign and said “one vegetable Kati roll please”. Simple enough, right? The guy went to town creating my food and I started checking my email on my phone, not paying attention. When I looked up, he had the food ready and said “$7 please” – I looked and it was a full platter. I felt badly, but I had to tell him that no, I wanted the Kati Roll, the one for $3.99. He had a pretty thick accent and I had a hard time understanding him. Likewise, I’m sure it was difficult for him to understand me, so I took it as a “cheap eats” lesson. From now on, I am pointing, saying the order, AND saying the price, to make sure they know how much I am wanting to pay.
How unique is the food? While I have had kati rolls in NYC before, I don’t think I had ever had one before I moved here. I would say they are pretty unique for the US (of course, they are extremely common in India).
How delicious was the food? It was great. There is something magical about chickpeas. Whether they are in hummus, falafel, or whole in a kati roll, they are always delicious!
Did it fill me up for $5 or less? Sort of. I was definitely fine until my next meal, but I would call this a light lunch. The final price was only $3.99!
Conclusion: Definitely check this place out. Don’t expect to be stuffed after this meal, but if you are looking for a delicious, light lunch that features Indian spices, this is your place! Just make sure you are clear about what you are ordering!
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