Naan Stop: NYC Indian Dining
by Julie Besonen, 02/05/2013
Photo: Ganesh Temple Canteen/Mr. G. Padmanabhan/The Hindu Temple Society of North America, NY
Ganesh Temple Canteen
143-09 Holly Ave., 718-460-8493, Flushing, Queens
The Hindu god Ganesh—the one with the elephant head—is the remover of obstacles. Invoke his spirit when journeying to Ganesh Temple Canteen, located in the basement of a Hindu temple complex in a residential part of Flushing several blocks—and worlds away—from neighboring Chinatown. Look for the stairway on Holly Avenue, not the temple's entrance on Bowne Street. The canteen has typical church-annex furnishings: communal tables, dropped ceiling, flyers on bulletin boards advertising upcoming classes. It is open to all every day, no spiritual affiliation or shoe-removing required. Adventurous chowhounds will find tasty and fiery vegetarian fare, albeit served on Styrofoam. Ordering is done fast food–style at the counter, and it's remarkably cheap. Masala dosa, about as big as a scuba fin, is stuffed with seasoned potatoes and served with thick coconut chutney and a bowl of vegetable-laden dal. Samosas are also massive.