Naan Stop: NYC Indian Dining
by Julie Besonen, 02/05/2013
Photo: Alex Lopez
37-47 74th St., 718-672-1232, Jackson Heights, Queens
The granddaddy of the Indian lunch buffet, Jackson Diner has for decades been one of Jackson Heights' primary attractions. The soaring space is like an indoor playground, with exposed ducts and pipes and a late-'50s idea of futuristic decor. On each table is a big pink plastic pitcher of water, but if you want something stronger, hail down a waiter and get a Taj Mahal. The steam tables are stocked with charred chicken tandoori, slightly sweet chicken chili, tender goat curry on the bone, piles of naan, spinach, chickpeas and dal, plus a vat of rice pudding. There's also a man making golden dosas on a griddle, surrounded by people holding out their plates in supplication. The buffet is open seven days a week from 11:30am to 4pm; it costs $9.95 on weekdays and $10.95 on weekends. At dinner, order from an extensive menu of mildly spiced Indian classics. A smaller branch of Jackson Diner opened in late 2010 in Greenwich Village.