Grand Avenue in Elmhurst

After our Costco haul yesterday, we drove back to my original neighborhood in Queens to visit Tangra Masala, one of my favorite restaurants in New York City, if not on the entire face of this earth. I cannot think of anything tastier than the fusion of Chinese and Indian cuisine — the two most populous countries on earth. They now have a larger banquet location in Sunnyside, plus a Manhattan location that we’ve been getting delivery from in the last few years, but it’s not quite the same to eat their lollipop chicken at home vs. having it fresh out of the fryer at their restaurant. Plus, here, I get nostalgic about my first few years in New York, as I was a regular here and oftentimes got takeout from here on nights I didn’t feel like cooking. As they were then, they are still cash only, though they have fully renovated both the tiny interior as well as their front. They no longer look like a total no-frills, shabby spot like they used to.

I realized that despite having lived in that neighborhood for four years, I’d never taken advantage of their lunch specials, so today, we ordered their Tangra Masala fish, vegetable kofte Manchurian, which came with a tasty and spicy slaw, rice, and soups, and of course, the lollipop chicken. We got their corn soup and the hot and sour soup, and both were excellent — super flavorful, and the hot and sour soup was packed with different vegetables and tofu. I regretted rarely branching out from my staple dishes as we slurped their soups. And of course, their lollipop chicken was excellent — and a pleasant surprise: we got not five pieces, but SIX! The crunchiness and fragrance of eating them fresh was unmatchable. Love this spot and hope they continue to stay in business forever. We were happy while being the only indoor diners in seeing that many people were stopping by to pick up takeout orders, plus their phones were constantly ringing with more orders on the way.

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